Ida is a young Norwegian woman, struggling with a turbulent emotional life caused by emotionally unstable personality disorder (borderline). For the last eight years, Ida has kept a video diary in order to ease her mind and structure her thoughts. In her diary we get a unique insight into a world of fear and anxiety, but also precious moments of everyday victories and self-discovery. Most importantly we get to witness her powerful struggle towards self-acceptance and a genuine appreciation of life.
Ida’s Diary is a film about hope, about finding your own identity and daring to live.
Ida’s Diary, one of the most honest tales about the constant struggle for daily happiness
Ida Storm looks at the camera and gives a short and direct statement: “Hello, my name is Ida. I’m 24 years old. I have a borderline personality disorder.”
What follows is a testimony of the complexity of living with that diagnosis. Internally, Ida must deal with her addictions, mood swings, suicidal tendencies, and self-harm. Externally, she faces the unfortunate fact that mental illnesses are much less tolerated and understood by society.
Later, Ida points the camera at her bathroom mirror. After a few seconds, she turns away, horrified. “That’s the first time in ages my reflection has looked like Satan”. She decides to face her situation, watching the camera’s LCD monitor to verify what her mind is interpreting as real. Finally, almost defeated, we see her completely immersed in her hallucination.
The sequence — which by the way, is not the hardest one of this documentary — would be morbid and sensationalist if it weren’t for the fact that is Ida herself who is diligently documenting her own struggle. She wants us to see her reality. And it’s that fighting spirit and her absolute commitment in searching happiness what inspire in the viewer a solid support instead of a fragile condescension.
Director August B. Hanssen does a great job in visually enhancing the complexity of Ida’s video diary, bringing strategically-placed support shots and a soundtrack (by Topscore) with electronic atmospheres reminiscent of Warp Records’ catalog.
Ida’s Diary is not only a fantastic gateway leading to better understand mental disorders but one of the most honest tales about the constant struggle for daily happiness.
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