‘What Is Eating My Mind’, A Kenyan Film On Bipolar Disorder

What’s Eating My Mind takes us on an unprecedented journey full of fear and hope, trying to understand what it’s like living with mental illness in Kenya. The film documents the journey of Noella Luka, an aspiring African filmmaker who dreamed of living and working abroad. That dream came to a crashing halt when Noella was hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disorder while studying at a film school in North Carolina, USA. On Noellas return back home, she narrates on her daily struggles and the support she receives from her family. She decides to turn the camera on them and herself as they try to navigate this unknown, with varying results.

Noella tries to figure out how to navigate this unknown territory by joining a mental health support group, where she meets a fellow survivor, Nick. Nich was diagnosed with Schizophrenia while studying to be a priest in Colombia. Where he was on a journey to become a Catholic priest. Her decision to film.

Nick launches her into another world, he brings a different perspective to the film. Another side of mental health care is giving. Through his story, we get to know that in Kenya many men are suffering from mental illness in silence. We are taken into the cruel side, where we see Nick’s mother narrate on how she didn’t know how to care for Nick. And the only way she knew best was to lock him in the woodshed and tie him on a grave post, to pray off the “demon” of mental illness. Nick runs away and ends up being shucked by people of faith to help cure his illness.

In a patriarchal society, this issue is not talked about more so in public. Instead, people choose to talk about friends, family, and loved ones with mental issues behind closed doors. More awareness should be put in place in order to help those struggling with Mental Illness.

What’s Eating My Mind is a production of Lbx Africa in collaboration with Generation Africa and BBC Africa Eye. The film is a Directorial Debut by Noella Luka and Produced by Sam Soko, Don Edkins and Tiny Mungwe.LBx Africa has also brought you films like Softie, Free Money, Watu Wote, Baba and No Simple Way Home.