Trailer for 'Contamination' - Film Tackles African-Americans and Mental Illness
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Trailer for 'Contamination' - Film Tackles African-Americans and Mental Illness

nullWith the

recent shocking suicide of Robin Williams, there has been a lot of discussion

and articles written about mental illness and its effects. However, when it

comes to African-Americans and mental illness, it is, for the most part, a taboo subject, spoken in whispers, or behind closed doors.

No doubt, a

lot of the secrecy and shame among AAs and mental illness comes from the idea

that we want to show the world that we’re a “tough people.” We survived slavery,

so we can survive anything. Therefore, mental illness is seen by many as a sign

of weakness – something that white people deal with, but not us.

But the

plain fact is that, mental illness affects everyone, regardless of race, age or

class. And in an effort to give a voice to those affected by it, and help bring

the issue to the forefront, Queens award-winning filmmaker R.

Shanea Williams has written and directed a short film titled "Contamination" (her second short), which deals with a black woman and her battle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Starring Cherise

Boothe and Ami Brabson, the film was recently screened at the Black Harvest Film

Festival in Chicago, where one of the attendees in the audience, Veronica

Bohanan, a mental health advocate and practitioner, said, after watching the

film, that: “I’m always pleased to see when films address the often silenced and

hidden African-American narrative around mental disease. Contamination captured

both the obsession and the compulsion of OCD.”

Ms. Williams

said she wanted to give voice to people we do not often see struggling with

OCD: "I

had an idea about this character for a long time, a woman who was struggling

with severe germaphobia which resulted in her having OCD. If people are going

to learn something from this film, it is that mental health issues are universal

and affect people of all races, ages and backgrounds."

Here’s the

trailer for the film:

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