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Undone and Mental Health in Unliveable Times (Discussion of Screening)

posted on 2024-07-04, 13:34 authored by Elke WeissmannElke Weissmann, Sarah Lahm

Sarah Lahm

Mental Health in Unliveable Times: Screening of Undone

Undone (Amazon Prime Video, 2019-2022), a women-centric half-hour drama, uses rotoscoping animation and Science Fiction tropes to articulate its protagonist Alma’s newfound ability to manipulate time after a car accident. This screening of Undone’s first two episodes aims to spark a discussion about the ways in which the rotoscoping and spatio-temporal structure of Undone work to articulate its main character’s experiences as an individual living through precarious times. The relationship between Alma’s mental health and her environment—a contemporary neoliberal, late-capitalist US American landscape—is set up in the show’s first episode. Set close to the border between the US and Mexico in San Antonio, Texas, Undone raises questions about our reality’s sustainability for the wellbeing of individuals through its plot and character trajectories. In its second episode, the programme’s rotoscoping animation starts to blur the boundaries between reality and imagination while simultaneously drawing a stark contrast between the protagonist’s complicated, difficult reality and the idea of a mindful, healthy connection to nature and her feelings. Questions for discussion could include: How does the rotoscoping animation ‘feel’ to you? How do you feel about the voiceover (later to be revealed as the start of an intradiegetic dialogue) and the main character’s comments on capitalism and mental health in the first episode? How are mental health and wellbeing articulated in these two episodes, and how are they connected to ‘nature’?


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