Friendship, love, & choice

a short film by Nonnie Christine Egbuna.

Poppy is the story of a young woman who celebrates her birthday on the anniversary of her best friend’s suicide.

Poppy is a project that has been on my heart for many years, one that presented itself to me recently as a story I needed to tell, and soon. The urgency with which I set about creating this film stems from my personal connection to its subject matter; a story about mental illness and its outcomes, about friendship, love, and choice, Poppy is a film that encompasses many aspects of my recent personal narrative.

When I was diagnosed with clinical depression two years ago, I could not see any light in the situation. At my lowest, I operated on a day-to-day basis solely thinking about survival—keeping my grades up, eating at least one full meal a day, and adjusting to new medications. Now, I am at a much higher point. I am mentally and emotionally healthier, and I am ready to do with my mental health journey what I know best: to make art out of it.

This project is an exploration and expression of mental illness, through the lens of film and filmmaking practice. The final product, Poppy, is a short film following a young woman—Q—who celebrates her birthday on the anniversary of her best friend—Zion’s—suicide.

In creating this film, I have stepped into a new chapter of my personal mental health narrative. I have realized that, in many ways, I am and/or have been both Q and Zion. I have been so well-acquainted with darkness as to consider seeking it eternally, and I have gotten up on countless mornings and chosen the light, chosen the life. I can tell both stories, this story, from both sides, because I have lived both sides. Creating Poppy has empowered me to better understand the nuances of mental illness both generally and personally, and to ultimately turn my pain into power.

Visit Nonnie’s project website

Download a pdf book of the project


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