Angela is a preschool teacher and single mother of four. She seeks help from a system that took everything from her — including her freedom and her son. Over the course of the film, Angela takes a gig at a car wash, speaks up when her housing becomes unsafe, seeks out a therapist, and, even at her most frustrated and alone, enrolls in classes to regain custody of her son, Anthony. Her bravery is apparent. All of this she accomplishes despite her diagnosis and despite being a survivor of abuse in the foster care system.
“Eventually you have to face all those staring eyes that wonder how your week went.”
Dimitar and his family immigrated from Bulgaria to Chicago when he was ten, and his experience as an outsider drew him to the social sciences. Now an author and anthropologist who worked full-time to put himself through school, Dimitar has published a book, State of Schizophrenia, a profound meditation on technology and delusion. He is strikingly honest and a little poetic, and he is particularly close to his mom, Gina.
“I don’t like home visits. But I deal with it and I go through it and I give them two thumbs up, ‘cause hey, I’m that type of guy.”
Daniel is a creative, charming man who studied fashion design and once dreamed of being a shoe designer. After two years in a full-time mental health facility, he is thrilled to finally move into his first apartment, and he’s intent on keeping it–and his shoes–clean and orderly. He especially enjoys weekends with his sister, who helped raise him and taught him how to make Jamaican food. He does have a tendency to finesse the truth with his caseworkers, however.
“If I was gonna go out and see anybody [after my hospitalization] it was gonna be them.”
Margaret is the director of an all-women film collective under the Beti Films banner, which she founded in 2004. A single mother to a teenage daughter, an educator, and a multi-hyphenate filmmaker, Margaret sees the camera as an opportunity for healing. She meets Angela, Dimitar and Daniel at a mental health court and finds herself on an unexpectedly personal, multi-year journey.