In the filmmaker's own words…
“During the spring recesses from the undergraduate film production workshops that I teach at Yale and Columbia Universities, I visited my brother in the high security lockdown ward with the ironic acronym of POSH — Portland, Oregon State Hospital. Getting a court-ordered involuntary commitment was a tedious, bureaucratic, dangerous ordeal. Duanne told me his iPhone had been confiscated because he had been recording on the floor. He wanted me to retrieve it in order to extract the footage and make a documentary film of his experience. What he did not tell me at the time was that the phone contained approximately 250 video clips filmed over the course of two years that unwittingly chronicled his ever-loosening grip on reality. The footage was raw, disturbing and included a scary rant during a suicide attempt the top of Multnomah Falls.
His own youthful days as a student-filmmaker enhances the quality and substance of the videos, even if his intention was not a narrative aesthetic. After he gave me the footage I returned to Portland bi-monthly with a camera and recorded our battles with this insidious illness. This is not a film I wanted to make, but felt compelled to make. The exposure, vulnerability and familial tragedy we felt is compensated by the power this film has to illuminate. My parents, both proud and private people, participated despite the shame and stigma because they hoped that this film will provide insight and understanding.
His adoring parents and loyal friends missed all the clues in his young adulthood, perhaps blinded and dazzled by his talents. The reason for the rarity of "late-onset" schizophrenia is because one without a medical diagnosis, one is not considered mentally ill. We rarely went to doctors.
Untreated mental illness costs the U.S. 200 billion dollars a year.”
-Sandra Luckow, filmmaker