Memory of My Face
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From the Afflictions: Culture and Mental Illness in Indonesia series
by Robert Lemelson
color, 22 min, 2011
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Memory of My Face is part of the Afflictions: Culture & Mental Illness in Indonesia series of ethnographic films on severe mental illness in Indonesia, based on material drawn from 12 years of person-centered research by director and anthropologist Robert Lemelson.
The film focuses on Bambang Rudjito, a university-educated Indonesian man in his late thirties diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. It explores the "globalized" features of Bambang's illness and recovery narrative — western psychiatric diagnostics and pharmaceuticals, work opportunities in a rapidly changing urban environment, participation in an interfaith religious community, and his family's understanding and acceptance of what Bambang describes as a "mental disability." But it also considers aspects of Bambang's more complex, historically and politically shaded narrative, giving language and a deeper substance to his illness experience. Memory of My Face illustrates how the residues of colonialism and the pervasive influence of globalization affect the subjective experience of mental illness.
This film is also available as part of the set Afflictions Volume 1: Psychotic Disorders.
Study guide (PDF)
Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Special Mention, Caserta Ethnographic Film Festival, Caserta, Italy, 2012
Northern California International Film Festival, Modesto, CA, 2013
SF Shorts: San Francisco International Festival of Short Films, 2012
Awareness Film Festival, U.S.A., 2012