Overload is a film about the experiences of people living in South London juxtaposed with the theme of overload. The film features a mixture of people discussing their own experiences as well as actors narrating the experiences of others. The film explores sensory experiences as well as the interaction of these experiences with thoughts and memories and the theme of mental health features centrally in the film.
Many of the themes tell us about the universal human experience and will resonate with those outside of South London. The complex and challenging experiences include the sensory overload of busy urban areas, coping with disturbing and recurrent traumatic memories as well as the wariness of crowds. The film deals sensitively with difficult issues and helps the audience unfamiliar with these issues to begin to make sense of them.
However the London music scene with an X-factor candidate awaiting news as well as the red buses and black cabs make the location unmistakeable. The more subtle aspects of South London are manifested through the pervasive influence of the London based creative artists as well as the Mental Health charities and networks. The CoolTan Arts charity including their London based studio feature in the film. Talented young actors also perform a poem from one of the Cooltan Arts poets. The Cooltan Arts website ‘A Funny Farm‘ also features briefly. The film left me to reflect on the many difficult issues that had been communicated so effectively and also sensitively for an audience that might be unaccustomed to such issues.
Ivan Riches has done a lot of important work with leading mental health charities. Riches has a YouTube channel which features some of his videos. I have written previously about the theoretical possibility of a science DJ – someone who communicates science through images and music. However Riches had already created and posted this masterpiece a year beforehand!
Appendix – Update – A Short Film About the Making of Overload
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