Speaking as someone who has dealt with mental illness for my entire life, “The Voice in the Head” brought a tear to my eye. Cyrus Trafford’s short film is a riveting and gut wrenching look at mental illness and how small the disparities are between those with a mental illness and those that perceive themselves as sane. Most of all, “The Voice in the Head” is a unique look at how often we jump to conclusions toward those with a mental illness or with people that seem to indicate mental illness. Too often in society has mental illness been stigmatized and demonized, and there are still too many individuals with zero understanding of psychological illness and how it can destroy lives and those around them.
Charlotte Luxford plays college student taking an essay for her college exam. She takes the opportunity to recollect one evening where she shared a train cart on the tube with another woman who sat in her seat ranting to herself and weeping emotionally. The young girl watches the older woman emotionally rant and cry to herself, and soon begins to follow her. She soon realizes that the older woman is not just getting off at her stop, but is also going to her exact college. Confused at how a woman with an apparent mental illness could be attending her school, she’s forced to reflect on the woman’s circumstances, and why she chose to rush to such unusual conclusions.
Especially the idea that those with a mental illness have no place in a school for higher learning among those seeking stable futures. Cyrus Trafford creates a painfully thought provoking and heartbreaking tale filled with strong performances. Trafford raises fascinating questions, and forces us to reflect on what mental illness is and how we should understand those facing it, rather than stigmatize them or consider them lesser individuals in the end. Trafford’s short drama should be seen by everyone as a valuable lesson and a painful glimpse at the enduring battle of mental illness.
Now available on VOD.