In Your Keeping

A drama inspired by actual events in my family, In Your Keeping is about two young ladies, Sherrie and Nina, who struggle to come to terms with caring for someone with Schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia, the disease of the mind, is often misunderstood by the public and misrepresented in the media. Rejected as a social leprosy by most, due to lack of understanding. As a result recovery for people with schizophrenia is difficult and their existence in society is one of being ostracized.

This film was a passion project I worked on over the period of three years with fellow graduates from film school.

In Your Keeping screened at the Playhouse Theatre in Auckland, and at the New York Independent Film Festival in 2009.

View trailer below:

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Film summary

Gregory Flynn (Michael Kennedy) is an outpatient who suffers from schizophrenia. He has kept himself from the attention of the mental health institutions for many years, because of his relatively normal life spent around the house as a small time potter. His wife Rose (Jenny Pope) has played a significant part in making this possible by being his principal care giver during their married life. Rebbecca (Rachel Gilchrist) a sympathizing daughter, has also been a major source of comfort and support. However, this all changes when Rebbecca is involved in a fatal accident. Gregory’s inability to handle the emotional stress of this loss heavily impacts his mental stability. He experiences audible hallucinations of voices taunting him, with put downs and destructive suggestions. Gregory believes these to be the voices of Nazi spies who are after his family. Rose, aware of her own fragile condition and of Gregory’s deteriorating state, elects to take some time away from the situation to protect her sanity, and so that she can grieve the loss of beloved daughter Rebbecca.

Their eldest daughter, Sherrie Flynn (Catherine Deeney), takes over the role of principal caregiver. This is not easy because she has never accepted her father’s schizophrenic condition. Nina (Ghazaleh Golbakhsh) Gregory’s recently appointed and uninitiated Community Support Worker (CSW) is Sherrie’s only source of help. But with family problems of her own Nina struggles to fulfill her role. Sherrie, with the help of Nina, must now face her demons as she comes face to face with the harsh and thankless reality of looking after a person with schizophrenia. And as Gregory’s condition quickly declines neither Sherrie nor Nina are prepared for what happens when he suffers a major schizophrenic breakdown. But whatever happens, Gregory will be in her keeping.

The full movie is available to view on Vimeo:

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One of the biggest obstacles to recovery of schizophrenia is discrimination.
- New Zealand Mental Health Society, 1998

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