70 min / 2019
Karen Marshall’s body, mind, and heart do not belong to her alone. She shares them with Rosalee, a smart and perky teenager; Timee, a flamboyant, puerile youth, who wears women’s clothing; an old lady, a habitué of museums; and a dozen of others. Karen’s official diagnosis is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.
Through personal stories, BUSY INSIDE delves deeply into DID—a condition that fascinates and puzzles modern psychiatry. Incredible as it may seem, some individuals with DID have been known to have more than twenty identities, each of which varies greatly, embodying different temperaments, ages, professions, and even genders. People usually develop this disorder as a result of physical and mental trauma caused by child abuse. Following abuse, DID emerges as a defense mechanism that allows the victim to pass on his or her unbearable memories to someone else—a different personality created in the victim’s mind. With time, the person develops more personalities, each serving different purposes.
“Busy Inside” works to return dignity to those with DID and bring better understanding of it by creating an honest film about people who live with it every day, giving audiences a direct window into their inner world. The film will inspire audiences to question their own identity – is it a function of our brain, a social mask, or an illusion? After all, don’t we sometimes behave differently than our ‘norm’ – at a party compared to at work, for example, or we may keep some emotions buried, we may have reclusive days and outgoing days. How different are we, really, from those with multiple personalities?
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- PBS (America ReFramed), 2021 and 2022
- Theatrically released in over 30 theaters in Russia for over 3 months
- Best feature documentary nomination at Moscow International Film Festival in 2019
- The Audience Award for Best Feature at Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival in 2019
- Moscow International Film Festival, 2019 (World Premiere)
- DOC NYC Film Festival, 2019
- Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, 2019
- Hamptons Doc Fest, 2019
- BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival, 2020
- IFP Film Week 2017
- IDFA Forum 2017
- Big Sky Pitch 2016