Psychiatry in the Arab Cinema


‘Farah’ (Lebanon, 2022) screening followed by Panel discussion with Co-directors Hassiba Freiha and Kenton Oxley

This film event will explore contemporary issues in mental health in Arab society such as stigma, big pharma exploitation, non-pharmacological treatment, and family dynamics. The film’s central character ‘Lina’ (Stephanie Atala) is a medical student struggling with low mood, anxiety, and psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations.) The viewer is invited to reflect on how Lina’s family and friends deal with her crisis, and the opposing schools of treatment approaches offered by two psychiatrists. While the film is set in Lebanon, it still explores an escalating global phenomenon namely the rise of anxiety and depression amongst medical students. The filmmakers were keen to ‘humanise’ the discourse around mental illness through a holistic understanding of ‘Healing and Self Discovery’.  The symposium will be an opportunity to exchange thoughts around the topics mentioned above.