Initial Statements on Someone Beside You

«A film that is really worth seeing! Profound and moving. It deals with basic human experiences that will be familiar to almost anyone who practices meditation. This film deserves an audience that is open to looking beyond the limits of mere understanding.»

Peter Hofmann, Pastor of the Reformed Protestant Church in Fällanden; member of the regional psychiatry commission at the Burghölzli clinic, Zurich

«Edgar Hagen's film offers a more intimate and authentic look at the essence of psychosis and thus leads us to a more profound and compassionate understanding of life with psychosis than any other film documentary I have seen so far.
The film an important contribution to de-stigmatizing the mentally ill, and I can only warmly recommend it to everyone, even those viewers who have no prior knowledge of the topic.»

Dr. med. Andreas Andreae, Medical Director, ipw <> Integrierte Psychiatrie Winterthur

«Someone Beside You opens a door to the very heart of the psychotic experience. It allows us to witness what severe mental illness can mean to those directly affected and those close to them. The film demonstrates compellingly how differently individuals experience and deal with mental disorders and how important it is both to take these individual differences into account and involve members of the patients' family and social network in their treatment and care.»

Vereinigung der Angehörigen von Schizophrenie- und Psychisch-Kranken, VASK Zurich (Association of Family Members of Schizophrenics and the Mentally Ill)

«In the film “Someone Beside You,” Edgar Hagen’s poetic depiction of the human experience of psychosis captures the raw, brutal and often torturous quality of the disorder. In balance, he also shows the brilliance and reality of the possibility of recovery, stunningly embodied by “Karen,” the first Windhorse project client. A thread that weaves throughout the movie is that we are all fundamentally sane, and that mental disorders exist in a secondary position to the sanity. In very poignant footage taken just months before his death, Dr. Edward Podvoll embodies the gentle confidence in people’s intrinsic sanity, and that through skilled and basic human respect and relationship, people can achieve genuine recovery. It is clear that Edgar Hagen has a deep and accurate feeling for the widely misunderstood subject of the movie. Given the unnecessary suffering created by that misunderstanding, this is a profoundly important movie.»

Chuck Knapp, Co-Director Windhorse Community Services, Boulder Colorado, USA

«My name is Jeffrey Fortuna and I am co-founder of the Windhorse Project, which is featured in Edgar Hagen’s superb new film. I have known and worked with many of the persons portrayed here, for many years, and I feel that Edgar has portrayed all of them in very deep and realistic way. The essence of each person clearly comes to us through the relationship lens Mr. Hagen shares with each person. It is Mr. Hagen’s intimate relationship with each person in the context of his deeply probing artistic vision that gives this film its power. This is the power to show the true face of mental illness; to equally show the lonely ravages and the courage to recover. Here is a film that invites us to look directly at this true face of mental illness, and not turn away. Who could turn away from such compelling persons portrayed in such a deeply felt way? Mr. Hagen bears faithful witness to such persons and yet is totally immersed in relationship with them, hence he is not neutral but a fully participating witness. He generously shares with us what he has seen and lived through in the making of this film which is nothing less than the pathos and promise of mental illness fully lived. I wish to express my gratitude to Mr. Hagen for devoting himself to such an arduous task, and to acknowledge the penetrating beauty and poignancy that his remarkable film offers to us.»

Jeffrey Fortuna, Co-Founder of the Windhorse-Project, Co-Director Windhorse Community Services, Boulder Colorado, USA

«…Edgar came to Boulder and I viewed the finished movie with him… I was very moved and impressed by the film’s sophistication and artistry. Its message is deep, yet subtle, and it speaks for itself. Edgar seems to have found the 'heart' of each person and brought it out in the film… And he was able to skillfully direct the camera to get to the heart of my story… This experiment with the filming, and sharing my secrets has been healing for me.»

Karen on her relationship to the film