Schizophrenia: Edge Of Madness

Schizophrenia: Edge of Madness is a documentary film following four people with schizophrenia and their medical journey to improve their mental health.

Janey Antoniou, 39, is a happily-married, professional woman who was diagnosed as schizophrenic 10 years earlier. Hearing voices and cutting herself “to let the evil out”, she was more a danger to herself than other people.

Through the stories of four patients and their families, Edge Of Madness challenges popular misconceptions held about schizophrenics.

The film features interviews with experts highlighting the treatments used in the 90s, such as family therapy and the drug Clozapine, an atypical antipsychotic medication mainly used for schizophrenia.

The documentary film mainly focuses on its efforts to show what schizophrenia does and what we can do to help, although, it also presents some ethical questions.

Critics of the film asked whether or not filming people in their darkest times could become an exploitation.

Outspoken critic Arnold Shapiro, a documentary producer, had this to say about the documentary:

For Edge of Madness, a long documentary featuring four people with schizophrenia, I ended up doing things with which I was uncomfortable because they had bought me dinner, or had spent time with me. I had got myself in a position where I didn’t feel I could say no.

Parts of it make me cringe, and there are bits that I feel deeply ashamed about because they give the wrong impression about mental health problems, especially schizophrenia.

When I wrote to the people who made it afterwards I got no reply and they never sent some of my pictures and poems back to me. It is difficult at the beginning of a film project to see where it’s going to go but I think if I was asked again and if I started to feel uncomfortable about a scene I would try to discuss it before the filming started.

Arnold Shapiro
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Schizophrenia: Edge Of Madness
  • Info
  • Release date1996
  • Full runtime1 hour 15 minutes
  • Produced and filmed byDianne Tammes, Maggie Elis