Whitewashed Film

I was recently featured in a documentary on Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

Now that the dusts has settled on it I can finally call out all the bullshit that occurred while filming this documentary and why I really dislike the end result.


During

  1. In August of 2021, the film's director, producer and camera man came to my home and filmed the documentary. I remember being asked to smile and immediately being made aware of what this documentary was trying to display. They were filming me walking and kept asking me to redo the walk. I was confused until finally the director asked if I could smile and seem as if "walking makes me happy". This is problematic AF because "happy" people still have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), the appearance of "happiness" looks different on everyone and SMILING literally means nothing in regards to mental health.

  2. I shared with the film's director that I grew up in Hawai'i and as usual he began sharing stories of vacations there. He also reassured me that I was still an American even though I grew up in Hawai'i. This actually lead me to writing an article on this topic for The Inclusion Solution of the Winters Group.

  3. Lastly, this film crew had no training on trauma or mental health and it was clear. The director gave no time in between conversations for pause which left me completely drained by the end of filming. I was interrupted often during the interview and asked to repeat things often in order to have a certain phrase put together. After our day together I almost immediately received an email from the liaison organization asking if I had a good time because they had already received a call from the movie's director.

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Releasing

The release of this film was so confusing.

  1. In November 2021, I was invited to speak about the trailer of this film at a summit held by the film's sponsors. I was sent the trailer from the summit organizers and then told I was not allowed to share it with anyone else even after the summit.

  2. In January 2022, I was sent the trailer again by the film's director before it was played at a film festival in Austin and again was told not to share it with anyone until the organization shared it publicly. Finally, I was able to share the trailer after I saw it posted to Youtube.

  3. I was only made aware of the actual film's release date when I was featured on a live show with the organization's CEO. The film was released February 1st. Now, I could go into why that date really rubs me the wrong way but I'll just.....