In 2014, writer and director, Sandy Boikian decided to bless the entire world with a film that tackled mental health issues as well as spirituality. Fragile World is an 81-minute film about a lonely interior designer named Rosalie, played by Athens, Ohio native, Alexa Jansson. Rosalie has suffered from human loss as well as delusions, and she falls in a love with a man named August (played by Benjamin Keepers) who could or could not be as real as she would like to think he is.
As the storyline progresses, Rosalie’s best friend and confidant, Britt (played by Noelle Perris) and her therapist, Logan (played by Chad Bishop) both are desperately trying to bring Rosalie back to who she used to be before her father died, but are mostly unsuccessful due to Rosalie’s reluctance of getting the help she so dreadfully needs. Meanwhile, Rosalie volunteers at a park where a man preaches the Gospel to those that are lost. After hearing the man a few times, Rosalie gives her life to God.
After giving her life to God, she mentions to a woman at the park who is helping her on her spiritual journey that she thought giving her life to God would make things better. The woman replies and tells her that God already has and already will…she just doesn’t see it yet. The words resonate with Rosalie and she finally decides to give in and get the help she needs without any distractions. She permanently ends things with her boyfriend August, who painfully understands that she needs to get better and agrees to let her be until she finds out what’s real and what’s not.
After she finally receives help, she begins to realize a lot of things that she claims to have are not even real…even her family. Willing to find out what is authentic, Rosalie comes to discover that August is just as real as she is and they both confess their love for one another. Britt, August and Logan all tend to Rosalie as she seeks help on the road to spiritual and mental recovery.
Fragile World is indeed one of the most amazing pieces of art that I have ever witnessed, and also the very first Christian film I have viewed that has actually tackled the issue of mental health and spirituality. Fragile World has had much recognition throughout the world of cinema. In 2015, the film was awarded Best Narrative Feature, and Most Educational Film. In September of 2015 at the Glendale International Film Festival, the film received three awards: Best Film, Best Director (Sandy Boikian), and Best Actress (Alexa Jansson).
Today, one does not really hear a lot of churches or Christian films discuss mental health. It is almost as though the topic has been swept under the rug. Things regarding mental health in church are almost always dismissed or viewed as “a spirit” or a force of demonic entry when it could be less than that. Yes, we do battle against forces of this dark world, but sometimes it isn’t a matter of battling forces of this dark world, but a matter of seeking help from a mental health professional. We all go through things that are hard to come to terms with or are hard to express to others, but that is no reason for us not to seek help. God made the occupations of therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and pastors for a reason. They are here to help us and there is nothing wrong with seeking them out when things seem to be overwhelming. The stigma of not seeking help should be done away with in the church today.
I also believe that churches should do what they can to provide Christian counseling centers for the members of their church and of their community. Just because we believe in God does not mean that we are only go to Him for all of our problems. Talk to a friend, start a support group, talk to people in certain groups on social media about it. Find people to help you heal through the pain. Whatever you do, do not go through it alone. When Rosalie tried to go through it alone and she refused help, she became worse. Rid yourself of the mentality that you do not need anybody but God. You need friends too. Even Jesus had twelve disciples. We are not supposed to go through things alone because we were never meant to.
Fragile World is now available on DVD at major retail stores, Lifeway bookstores, and Independent Christian stores nationwide. To find out more information on the film, please feel free to visit the website at www.fragileworldmovie.com.