Nina Ross is a Bristol based Documentary Filmmaker. Prior to making films, she spent 6 years in the charity sector (working with refugees, asylum seekers and homeless people).
Nina's film work continues her impetus towards contemporary issues; exploring stereotypes and challenging perceptions. Bridging The Gap is Nina's latest film where she collaborates with the individual Meg Barrett as she tells her story dealing with mental health. In the film we are shown a layered portrait of Meg, who at 18 years of age started hearing a voice. The voice grew to the point where Meg had to acclimatize to it as best she could.
Animation crafted from Meg’s own hauntingly expressive illustrations, offers a snapshot of her world as she grapples with the boundaries between her internal delusions and her everyday life. Her days can be dark and intense, yet Meg’s experience of hearing a voice is far more complex than one might imagine.
As Meg tries to understand the voice in relation to the world around her, our perspective on hearing voices and medicalisation is challenged. Begging the question ‘what even is reality?’
Nina Ross, 'Coming from a background in Anthropology. I have always been interested in representation. How do you attempt to write a story of somebody else without rewriting their story and making it your own? Becoming coloniser and silencing their voice in the process.
Bridging the Gap is a documentary about one women’s experience of schizophrenia and hearing voices. The film is essentially an attempt to represent an internal reality that no-one else can see or hear. It would have been very easy to fall into classic tropes of representing schizophrenia which only serve to strengthen stigma and overdramatise a hugely sensitive subject.
We made the film as collaboratively as possible, working with Meg’s own art work and always sharing and reflecting on the process together. Very early on covid hit and with Meg living in psychiatric hospital, I lost all access to visits. But perhaps the film is stronger because of this. We only had snippets of interview recorded prior to lock down, so Meg let me read her diaries and work with her deeply personal reflections. We also had to send camera’s into hospital where Meg could record herself. All that mixed with her own artwork meant Meg played a major part in the authorship of the film, and ultimately how the external world gets to view her internal reality.'
Meg Barrett, 'It’s about time I show people who can’t share my experiences what I actually have to deal with. What better way than to make this film?'
Film by Nina Ross and Meg Barrett
Sound design by