The Implications of using Mental Illness within a Cinema Narrative

Georgina Berritta


This article aims to explore the ways in which mental illness is used in contemporary cinema, highlighting the differences of representation of the mentally ill in accordance to genre. Furthermore, this article will examine not only the use of mentally ill characters, but also the narrative structure of films which include the mentally ill, and how the genre of such a film can dictate the resolution of the narrative. The genres studied include horror, comedy, drama, and children’s cinema, as well as sub-genres within these; an analysis of these genres will illuminate the ways in which modern cinema uses mental illness as a narrative drive, and how doing so has implications on the audiences that watch it. 


Mental illness, narrative, genre, social implications.

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