Deliberate self-harm is a growing health hazard among teenagers. Ida hurt herself for the first time when she was 10. At 25 she managed to stop hurting herself after many years in the limbo of youth psychiatry. The film is based on Ida's private video diary. A film about fighting adversity, about hope and about becoming the person you want to be.
At the end of 2010 Indie Film received a package in the mail. The package contained an unedited video diary from a young girl living in a small town south in Norway. She told us that she wanted someone to tell her story. Ida started harming herself when she was 10 years old. Today she's 25 and has several painful years behind her in the limbo of youth psychiatry. With her own camera she has captured her intense experiences over the last 6-7 years with an uncensored and direct gaze. Ida's story will give you a unique and personal peek into the complex phenomenon labeled deliberate self-harm [DSH]. About 20 years ago this phenomenon was virtually unknown in psychiatry. Today DSH is a diagnosis as common as eating disorders. And like eating disorders, it mainly affects our children and young adults. This fact alone underlines the need for Ida's story to be told. Films about psychiatric illness have a depressing tendency to end where they set out. This naturally coincides with the fact that many never find their way out of their illness. The illness becomes a dark spiral where the main character struggles to free him-/herself, and the psychiatric institutions are often left the blame. With Ida's Diary I aim to break with this pattern. I want to tell a dramatic and personal story from the world of youth psychiatry with a positive exit. The film will have a visual style that both retains the intensely personal quality of Ida's own material and elaborates her personal universe in an artistic way. By this we mean that even though the film will contain elements not filmed by Ida herself, the style and approach in these shots and sequences will feel like personal peeks into the slightly off-kilter world of Ida. Our material will be used to expand scenes and give them a more creative look while leaving the audience with the impression that we are moving within the confines of a personal and emotional universe. Both living with and talking about psychiatric illness involves social stigma. This is not the way it should be. Ida's Diary will show that people with psychiatric problems have good outlooks if they get the help they need and are met with confidence and understanding. Through a direct and creative visual language the film celebrates those who refuse to give up - even when everything seems at its darkest.