CATEGORIES Documentary, Exhibition, Home Entertainment, Cinematical Indie, Features, Movie News, CinematicalA few years ago, Mike Mills led us into the world of thumbsucking alienation with Thumbsucker. Much more than a tale of a mouth and a thumb, it detailed a kid diagnosed with ADD who finds one dependence replaced by another. While it is mainly about a kid who struggles, there was an interesting subtext about which is *really* the best thing to be dependent on. Was it really that bad for Justin to suck his thumb? Was it better to take daily doses of drugs than put an appendage in his mouth? While Mills doesn't want to be "Mr. Pharmacological Guy," he's looking into drugs again with his first documentary -- Does Your Soul Have a Cold?
The Reeler talked with the director after a screening during Paper's Un-Hollywood Film Series. Mills said: "I'm Mr. I-Feel-F*cked-Up-In-the-World-Guy. I definitely relate to people who are struggling to find a place where they feel OK. And in our day and age, that is so closely related to pharmacology. To me, it's a secondary impact of my real theme, which is that people are struggling...hopefully this is not symbolic, but more into the minutiae of subjective, concrete details of someone's experience with it [drugs]."
The documentary focuses on Japenese people who are suffering from depression, and the environment that has surrounded them -- how the country's culture has treated the illness in the past, and how the use of anti-depressants has soared since the '90s. The director captured some emotionally charged accounts of their struggles, and surmises that this is because of Japanese culture closeting conflict, and "favoritism toward all things Western." As for how the film plays, The Reeler says Mills' results "are mixed at best, but Soul excels in its depiction of cultural denial." Whatever the case, it sounds worth the time, it sounds worth the time if you have IFC. The channel will air the doc on October 22.