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MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 18-24 May: One film a day chosen by writer/director Deborah Haywood

We asked one of our favourite filmmakers, Deborah Haywood to pick one film a day in response to Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May); the theme of which is “kindness.” Day three and we have Jane Campion’s Sweetie – a tragicomedy that explores a family’s dysfunctions. SWEETIE “This movie is real, it’s the genuine article, and it’s there on the screen in all of its defiant strangeness”.  Roger Ebert “Sweetie’ Isn’t Sugary”.  The New York Times “It’s hard to sum up Sweetie, which happens to be one of the movie’s strengths”.  Washington Post  Australian Film, 1978-1994, described Sweetie as: “A ghastly parody of the tyranny of family life”. Filmmaker Carol Morley cited Sweetie as her favourite film on Radio 4’s The Film Programme (25 October 2018), saying she  viewed Campion as her greatest influence. Campion, a surprise guest on the programme said that Philip French of The Observer found the film: “Disgusting”, while “An Italian guy” who interviewed her asked why she had to make a film that was: “So dirty”!

Here’s Haywood, explaining why she chose this film. “SWEETIE is a handful, a burden, and a problem – as people often can be with some mental health problems. Sweetie’s sister would rather she wasn’t around. But Sweetie’s Dad is so kind to her no matter what chaos she creates. He accepts her and loves her for who she is. Being accepted is crucial to our mental health. Please don’t make us change!”


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