Crazy…or wise? The traditional wisdom of indigenous cultures often contradicts modern views about a mental health crisis. Is it a ‘calling’ to grow or just a ‘broken brain’? The documentary CRAZYWISE explores what can be learned from people around the world who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience. Click here to see the extended trailer.
What can we learn from those who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience?
During a quarter-century documenting indigenous cultures, human-rights photographer and filmmaker Phil Borges often saw these cultures identify “psychotic” symptoms as an indicator of shamanic potential. He was intrigued by how differently psychosis is defined and treated in the West.
Through interviews with renowned mental health professionals including Gabor Mate, MD, Robert Whitaker, and Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, Phil explores the growing severity of the mental health crisis in America dominated by biomedical psychiatry. He discovers a growing movement of professionals and psychiatric survivors who demand alternative treatments that focus on recovery, nurturing social connections, and finding meaning.
CRAZYWISE follows two young Americans diagnosed with “mental illness.” Adam, 27, suffers devastating side effects from medications before embracing meditation in hopes of recovery. Ekhaya, 32, survives childhood molestation and several suicide attempts before spiritual training to become a traditional South African healer gives her suffering meaning and brings a deeper purpose to her life.
CRAZYWISE doesn’t aim to over-romanticize indigenous wisdom, or completely condemn Western treatment. Not enery indigenous person who has a crisis becomes a shaman. And many individuals benefit from Western medications.
However, indigenous peoples’ acceptance of non-ordinary states of consciousness, along with rituals and metaphors that form deep connections to nature, to each other, and to ancestors, is something we can learn from.
CRAZYWISE adds a voice to the growing conversation that believes a psychological crisis can be an opportunity for growth and potentially transformational, not a disease with no cure.
Just a few short days until CRAZYWISE makes its world premiere! Join us at the world premiere of CRAZYWISE!...May 18, 2017
A huge thank you to the #EmergingProud team for putting on such an amazing series of worldwide academic screenings!...May 16, 2017
We are beyond excited to share the news that CRAZYWISE will finally make it’s world debut at the Seattle...May 1, 2017
Director & Executive Producer
Phil Borges, has been documenting indigenous cultures and striving to create an understanding of the challenges they face for over 25 years. For his program, Stirring the Fire, Phil produced and filmed several short films, capturing the stories of women heroes and the issues they face all over the world, both as solo projects and in collaboration with organizations...View profile
Director & Executive Producer
Kevin Tomlinson, has been an independent Seattle-based producer, director and cinematographer for over 25 years. He has earned numerous Emmys and Tellys for his network news camerawork with NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, and Discovery. Kevin directed and co-produced the award-winning feature documentary, “Back to the Garden” which premiered at SIFF (2009) and at over 30 international film festivals, also...View profile
Julee works on all aspects of scheduling, budgets and publicity and event coordination. For over 25 years Julee has been working with Phil Borges Studio, Inc. providing a variety of services that included talent and location scouting, negotiations of contracts and international travel arrangements. Previously on the board of Blue Earth Alliance and Bridges to Understanding, Julee now focuses...View profile
Judy manages and produces programs for Heaven Scent Films and co-produced the award-winning feature documentary, “Back to the Garden.” As a lifelong fine artist she has exhibited her paintings created bronze sculpture for public installations, designed and produced recycled clothing and accessories through her company, Frim Fram Design and has received both private and public grants and commissions. Judy...View profile
Co-Producer & Creative Director
Debra joined our team at the end of 2012 when we shared our ideas about making a film together about healing. She brings to us her multi-disciplinary experiences as a painter, a poet, and a writer plus her passion for Depth Psychology while providing us with meaningful research, essential communication with our interviewees, and creative insight. Among many tasks,...View profile
Co-Producer, Digital Media Producer & Assistant Editor
During production and post-production, Sandy oversaw marketing, outreach, social media, crowdfunding, and the web presence for CRAZYWISE. A content manager for 10 years, Sandy is passionate about the power of social documentaries to allow us to see beyond our reality and expand our perceptions through common human emotions and experiences.View profile
Jason Reid, Producer, Editor: Jason is the principal and founder of 2R Productions where he is an award-winning editor, producer and director of independent documentaries, narrative shorts, music videos and commissioned corporate videos. He directed and produced the Emmy® Award-winning MAN ZOU: BEIJING TO SHANGHAI (2010), the Webby Award-winning SONICSGATE: REQUIEM FOR A TEAM (2009) and Webby honorees THE FINISH LINE and MR....View profile
Darren Lund, Editor: Darren is an editor and occasional cinematographer with over a decade of experience in filmmaking. His work includes award winning films and music videos such as SONICSGATE: REQUIEM FOR A TEAM (2009), MAN ZOU: BEIJING TO SHANGHAI (2010), K2: SIREN OF THE HIMALAYAS (2012), EVERGREEN: THE ROAD TO LEGALIZATION (2013), THE FINISH LINE (2014) and MR. IRRELEVANT...View profile
Consulting Story Editor
Eric Frith (producer, writer, director, editor) creates films that have screened at top festivals including Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), South by Southwest (SXSW), Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and many, many others around the world. These projects have received numerous awards and been acquired for distribution, both nationally and internationally, by Miramax, Dream Entertainment, Cinema Management Group,...View profile
As independent filmmakers, we have been 100% funded by individual donations and ask for your continued support to cover distribution and marketing of this film! All donations to CRAZYWISE are tax-deductible and eligible for matching funds through the Northwest Film Forum, a 501(c)3 organization. Click on the donate button to contribute online via PayPal. Thank you!
You can also send a check to: CRAZYWISE, PO Box 1247, Mercer Island, WA 98040. Please make the check out to the Northwest Film Forum and reference CRAZYWISE in the memo line of the check. Also, be sure to include your name and address to received your tax receipt from the Northwest Film Forum. For matching donations, please specify the Northwest Film Forum and, if possible, reference CRAZYWISE.