Flashes of the first episode


I often meet people who know exactly what's good and right, and most of all what's normal. I guess it's a huge mistake to judge normality by your own mediocrity. Patience and reserving all judgment opens the doorway to the most strange and curious natures.

This documentary project is dedicated to the guys at the 7th ward of Kashchenko mental hospital in Nikolskoe village, Russia. This is the male ward of the first episode where mainly patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders lasting less than five years are being treated. Schizophrenia is a condition which affects young people; most of the patients here are aged between 18 and 25. Doctors call them safe but statistics say that only 25-30% will recover - the rest of them will have relapses and suffer the negative consequences of the disease.  

This story is a little bit about strangeness and a lot about estrangement, two words that usually go together. If your thoughts and behavior are different from that which is generally accepted, the majority will label you as impossible and insane. After that, perhaps the only thing left to do is to estrange oneself from a hostile world and seek refuge in illness. So, patience is required. In fact, what we call someone's "strangeness” is nothing but our own lack of experience and imagination. Strangeness is just a collection of elusive feelings which defy definition and are difficult to describe or capture, except in certain moments.