'Behind the Closed Hearts' takes on depression
- The story of Ruby’s friendship with Shawn is thereafter revealed through flashbacks and a monologue.
- In the middle of different acts and scenes, Ruby takes time to elaborate what happened and what could have been done to prevent Shawn’s death.
Filmmaker and actress Stephanie Maseki has released a film which tackles depression.
Titled Behind the Closed Hearts, the 40-minute film which was released on Facebook tells the story of Ruby (Stephanie Maseki) whose friend Shawn (Dan Sonko) commits suicide.
As the film opens, we see Ruby receiving the news of Shawn’s death while sitting in her couch, reading a book.
The story of Ruby’s friendship with Shawn is thereafter revealed through flashbacks and a monologue.
In the middle of different acts and scenes, Ruby takes time to elaborate what happened and what could have been done to prevent Shawn’s death.
Shawn is a handsome man who is very dedicated to his work. He stays positive no matter the situation.
He smiles pretending to be fine but deep down, he is hurting and when he cannot handle the pressure anymore, he commits suicide.
OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY
“It is okay not to be okay all the time,” Ruby says, adding that we should not judge people trying to reach out for help or ignore their texts and calls claiming we are busy with life.
In one of the scenes Ruby says, “My friend died. Suicide, but I’m not sure how I feel. I feel rage, I’m angry mostly and I know I shouldn’t point fingers but they killed him. This is homicide and there should be an investigation.”
She goes ahead to scold the mourners who post Shawn’s pictures on various online platforms, grieving him and sharing their heartfelt condolences to show their undying love for him- as most people do today.
Shawn had expectations- high, as Ruby says- but they were not met and he felt lonely.
Ruby was also unable to meet them and she blames herself for failing Shawn.
“He wanted his workmates to see beyond performance, his friends to see through the smile, his spouse to see beyond the comfortable life and fat account and his children to see beyond an overbearing parent.”
Shawn’s psychologist, Ibrahim Andrew, is also said to have contributed to his death.
“He charged him a lot of money and yet failed to see the rehearsed lines and the sorrow during the appointments.”
The movie also touches on the different relationships we have in life, for instance, marriage, friends, family and how they affect us.
Ruby says different entities in the society should aid in solving our problems. “If these relationships can’t fix us, why do we need them? Let them go.”
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the most common illness worldwide.
In 2017 alone, about 450 million people were affected by depression globally while Kenya was ranked at position four in Africa with 1.9 million people who had the condition.
“Mental health is a rising cause of alarm at the moment in Kenya. This affects not only our health but also our economy. It is rarely talked about yet there is no physical health without mental health,” Stephanie says.
The movie is a product of Sekiba Empire, SE, a production house headed by Stephanie, who is aided by a producer, web developer, personal assistant and marketing officer.
Stephanie, a psychology student at University of Nairobi was a social worker by profession but is now a full time actor and a producer.
Despite it being a monologue, you will be glued to the screen. Trust me. The swings of emotion created by the shift of scenes, and not to forget the soundtrack, will leave you craving for more.