Date of Submission
Film and Electronic Arts
Project Advisor 1
Many people consider personality disorders extremely heightened personality traits, which need to be controlled. I strongly disagree with this idea and believe that psychological disorders in general attack the mind, much like the way cancer attacks the body. Furthermore, individuals with personality disorders are often driven to behave in ways that they would not dream of outside of a psychological episode. This being said, to what extent should an individual with a personality disorder be held accountable for his or her actions?
In my film, I present the viewers with a young, likeable character, Ovelia (meaning “happy” or “bright”, but also “help”), but it is not revealed that she is psychologically ill until later in the film. This way, people can get to know her aside from her disorder and hopefully grow fond of her. Throughout the first half of the narrative, I show Ovelia's very close relationship with her sister, Gregoria, in order to bring out her endearing personality. Towards the end of the film, Ovelia has an episode and, thinking that she is being followed by a stranger, attacks her sister.
Through this progression of events, I was interested in how the viewers would react to Ovelia and her behavior. After seeing what a sweet and likeable girl she is, how do they feel after realizing what she is capable of during an episode? Do they still see her as the sweet girl they were initially presented with or has their perception changed? Ovelia herself does not realize the extent of her disorder or how violent she can be, since she fails to recall her extremely severe episodes, and her family shelters her from the truth. Does her naivety, along with her good heart, inspire sympathy? Are people more likely to consider her a victim of her personality disorder or does her perceived innocence make her that much more dangerous? Also, how do people feel after initially liking a person and then realizing that he or she has done something awful?
There is also a focus on the main character's sister, Gregoria (meaning “watchful”, “alert”, “vigilant”, “observant”), whose role becomes to take care of Ovelia. While their father, David, treats Ovelia and provides for the family, Gregoria spends most of her time with her younger sister and makes sure that she is happy. This young woman devotes herself to her sister and chooses to live inside the bubble that she and her father create for Ovelia. At the end of the film, Gregoria is a victim of her sister's violent episode, but must carry on as though nothing had happened. She has a duty, and as difficult as it may become, she needs to care for her little sister. After all, it is not Ovelia's fault.
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Chenu, Amaya Elisabeth, "Ovelia" (2013). Senior Projects Spring 2013. 395.