How Canadian Series ‘Son of Mine’ Puts Schizophrenia Front and Center


When straight-A pupil Jacob (Antoine L’Ecuyer) begins listening to voices and howling wolves in his head, he blames it on a foul journey. Nevertheless, he and his household are rapidly compelled to simply accept a analysis of schizophrenia, an unsure future.

“Mon Fils” (“Son of Mine”), one of the exhibits on show within the Series Market Selects part of the Berlinale this week, places schizophrenia and psychological sickness entrance and middle. The Quebecois mini-series was co-created by Anne Boyer and Michel D’Astous and first season aired its six episodes nearly a yr in the past in Canada. Its producers are actually hoping to drum up curiosity within the worldwide gross sales division.

Selection spoke with Boyer by way of Zoom in regards to the analysis she carried out and the households she spoke to as a way to obtain an trustworthy portrayal of what it’s wish to be schizophrenic.

What does it imply for the collection to be screening at Berlin?

Worldwide consideration is essential for us, of course. We have to discuss this topic particularly, a taboo illness. Psychological well being points, particularly in occasions of a pandemic, are one thing that we have to shine a lightweight on. Even earlier than the pandemic, nearly daily there was one thing within the newspaper right here in Quebec about psychological well being points.

Why did you wish to make a collection about schizophrenia?

Usually Michel and I are writing about issues that scare us. We selected schizophrenia as a result of it’s an actual psychological situation, not a transition situation, and additionally as a result of it’s so scary, and no one actually talks about that. We had an enormous story right here a few man who had college levels however turned homeless as a result of of schizophrenia. He was killed by the police as a result of he was perceived as being aggressive. We wished to go inside this explicit illness to see what’s the true deal right here. 25 years in the past, it was nearly a loss of life sentence to be schizophrenic, however now, there’s a resolution, you possibly can stay with it and have a life. That was essential for us to speak about that via a household story.

Authenticity is so essential when portraying psychological diseases. What analysis did you do for the collection?

We talked to individuals with schizophrenia, psychiatrists, docs, affected person associations as a result of there’s rather a lot of contestation to being medicated, some individuals don’t wish to obtain medicine. We selected to place this household on the middle as a result of we didn’t wish to present a predominant character from a deprived background. It’s not an sickness that touches particular individuals, it might contact anyone. One other huge problem was to indicate in an accelerated timeframe over six episodes, a whole course of the sickness from A to Z: the start, the hospitalization, the refusal of remedy, the pitfalls, the issue linked to the well being system, and then the restoration. We particularly wished to spend time on the restoration as a result of we completely wished to indicate that though schizophrenia is an incurable illness, it’s controllable, it’s not a conviction. We wished a contented ending as a result of it’s potential to have a contented ending to this illness.

You additionally spend rather a lot of time displaying the dad and mom’ perspective too.

They typically don’t have any information of this psychological sickness. At the start, within the first episodes they suppose it’s a foul journey, he’s bizarre, he’s unhappy as a result of he broke up together with his girlfriend. I believe all of us react like this. You don’t wish to hear that your son has schizophrenia, it’s so scary. Quite a bit of individuals wrote to us, individuals who have a psychological sickness of their household. I used to be glad about that as a result of I believe we did job of representing the problem to households in that scenario.

Would you make a second season?

No, I don’t suppose so. The one factor we thought of was possibly speaking about one other psychological situation in one other collection and name it “My Daughter,” for instance, or “My Father,” however there isn’t any sequel deliberate.


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