August 09, 2005

Film Captures Struggle of Schizophrenia

A documentary on Susan Smiley's experience dealing with her mom who has schizophrenia, which we covered last year when it first launched, continues to get good reviews as it travels the country. The film is titled "Out of the Shadow"

"Smiley, a nationally recognized filmmaker, captured her family's pain, fear and journey toward stability in an award-winning documentary that comes to Northern Kentucky for a free showing on Thursday at Greaves Hall at Northern Kentucky University" (Kreimer, 2005). The illness had a devastating effect on Millie as well as the relationships she had with those in her family. It caused her marriage to fall apart and drove her into homelessness. Only after getting treatment for her schizophrenia was Millie able to rebuild her life, find a home and job, as well as develop new/improved relations with her family.

In the film it shows Millie coming home from the birth of her first child but she is "sad and withdrawn". There is obviously something wrong but no one can put their finger on it. The children had to go through a lot of physical and verbal abuse, confused as to what to expect from their mother.

Susan Smiley mentions that fear is the emotion she associates to memories of her mother. Both Susan Smiley and her sister felt fear towards their mothers burgeoning illness that was taking a hold of everyone's lives.

The film portrays the difficulties of schizophrenia in an accurate light and gives more focus to a frequently ignored problem. Susan Smiley's film is called Out Of The Shadow.

For more information on the film, see Susan's web site at:
Out of the Shadow, web site

Original Source: Film captures ordeal with schizophrenia . The Cincinatti Post. August 2005 By Peggy Kreimer.


Just wondering if Millie is related to Clifford Smiley, his 13yr grandson (my son) was diagnoised 3 months ago with Schizophrenia.
Thank you! Tina Smiley

Posted by: Tina Smiley at August 21, 2005 06:51 PM

I saw this movie in my Psychology class, my classmates and I were overwhelmed with sadness at all the things you and your sister went through because of your mother's mental illness. It was so good to see your mother end up in the group home holding down a job for the first time in 30 years. I didn't realize the anger and hatred that people with schizophrenia can exhibit, I felt sorry for you when she was yelling at you for getting her mixed up with "those people." I admire you and your sister for not being angry at your mother for things she cannot control. I hope things are going well for you and your family.

Posted by: JENNIFER GUY at September 3, 2006 09:55 AM

Tan solo quisiere conseguir en version espñola o subtitulada en español la pelicula de susan smiley "out of the shadow" o el libro.... Muchas gracias.... lo busco desesperadamente sin exito

Posted by: violette garélick at November 30, 2006 05:16 AM

It was a difficult day for my son today which meant a difficult day for his son at 18 was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It is hard to believe that your extended family allowed your mom to raise you and your sister. I never expected tonight to watch this film...I was surfing the stations. The same question you asked, " why me", is what I ask myself daily and there is no answer. I pray daily that my only child will be the 1 in 10 that recovers. Please pray with me. Please let your mom know that her story will not only be an encouragement to those suffering for schizophrenia but also for the family members who suffer with them.

Posted by: Ann Firpi at December 17, 2006 09:22 PM

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