Head Cold is an experimental long-term observation. It follows my attempt to return to a "normal" life. By exposing myself to the process of the film, I allow direct insight into the struggles that I have experienced due to the diagnoses and resultant stigmatization.
The form and content of the experiment arises from my method of working, which is based upon wide-ranged collecting and careful probing. I approach the topic utilizing an extensive archive of personal materials on MiniDV that is. Even my earlier films supply information about me and my position and situation.
Work on the project began in the summer of 2001; the DV archive of materials consisting of the self-interviews, the conversations as well as the video letters from my family and friends began as of spring 2002. My self-interviews work according to the "onion principle": layer by layer, I get to a new level of knowledge.
I am not a follower of the trendy esoteric belief that the consciousness-expanding aspect of the psychotic experience brings secret wisdoms to light. Since the shamans of other cultures are held in such high esteem, why then aren't the psychotics viewed likewise by us?
With a healthy distance of several years behind me since my last crisis, it is clear to me: what happened to me is not just individually relevant. It calls attention to the areas where emancipation from the stigmatization resulting from the illness can be achieved. Within this highly personal documentary film, my story is both an incentive and an example all in one—it is the starting point of a discussion, and uses filmic methods to present the adventure spanning from coming to terms with the mental illness on up to the re-achievement of normality.
The driving force of the project is the unique perspective that arises from the combination of my position as a filmmaker and the person afflicted. I can use my craft to palpably convey a highly individual insight into the world of psychotic suffering. The subjective approach to the topic seems a necessity to me, even if it was initially very difficult for me to "out" myself.