In 1968, an anti-Semitic movement swept across Poland. Thousands of Jews lost their jobs, and ultimately, their homes, as they faced government sanctioned harassment. Lilka Elbaum belonged to one of these families. Before she was pressured out of Lodz, Lilka lived in a pre-war apartment that had been home to a still life painting before her parents moved in. The titular painting, which inspired the creation of Still Life in Lodz, hung in the same spot from 1893 until the late 1960s, when Lilka was pressured out of Poland.

In Still Life in Lodz, Lilka unites with second generation Holocaust…


source: FilmRise

REWIND, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019, has gathered attention in both the festival circuit and among critics, and for good reason. The documentary received the Special Jury Mention at Tribeca and also played at BFI London, Traverse City Film Festival, Heartland International Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival and Nashville Film Festival. Set to open in NY at the IFC Center on March 27th, the film’s release was unfortunately postponed due to the covid-19 outbreak. See details at the end of this article for VOD release and broadcast premiere.

While the film follows…


Going into Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, I had an expectation that it would be dreary and longwinded, as per the opinion of someone I knew. But, much to my surprise, I enjoyed the film, if nothing more than as an ode to the lesbian period piece. I loved Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite (2018) and the Russian drama, Beanpole, (2019) and this film, though lacking in the tense drama of the aforementioned films, has its own quiet yet blazing (pun intended) quality that keeps you watching.

Winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes, writer/director, Céline Sciamma, blends mythology and mysticism…


A Patient Man opens quietly, in a way that is introspective like its main character. We first meet Tom when he is commuting, quickly learning that he takes the train in a city where everyone drives. There is a feeling of lonesomeness here that carries throughout the film; Tom is often seen alone amongst people he could really care less about.

courtesy of: Dawn til Dusk Publicity & Management Inc.

Writer/director Kevin Ward zeros in on Tom’s emotions, primarily while he is at work, by creating seemingly superficial characters who reflect how genuine and melancholy Tom is in comparison. If you hadn’t read anything about the film beforehand, you…


When you live with a dissociative disorder (DD) and psychosis, it can be hard to understand whether you actually want to be at a certain place, or with a certain person, or doing a certain thing. This “unknowing” is like a lack of instinct, or a lapse in higher functioning that happens when the brain is so overwhelmed that you’re essentially reduced to basic survival skills. Or at least, that’s how I experience the phenomenon.

Of course, everyone deals with lapses in clarity when it comes to whether or not they want to do certain tasks, be around certain people…


A Note On Wellness As We Enter Spring

Healing narratives — and life narratives, for that matter — are fun when they have a resolution, when one has “come through” to the other side. The past tense can feel so safe. But I also think it is important to recognize the insanity that lives in between: the experiences that feel simultaneously impossible to document and like they need to be written down, drawn, or filmed. As long as that documentation promotes, rather than hinders, your recovery.


I often wonder if I will be in this state forever. Where I used to feel the outer edges of my skin, the tips of my toes, the shell of my torso, I feel flat, floating in a non-existent space. Psychiatrists call it depersonalization. I call it hell.

Normally when you look at a chair, you know that chair is separate from you: an object, inanimate. You can feel your heart beating in your chest and you know: I am alive, I am real. But when you live with depersonalization, the line between that chair — an object — and…


An open letter to art school grads, or to anyone whose lexicon includes the word, “Namasté.”

Communication can be exhausting — I used to pass out on my bed for an hour or so after sending a single text. (No joke.) Although I was used to the fatigue that came along with recovering from illness, I knew that there must have been another reason for the lethargy I experienced post-communication.

And so I delved deeper, and frankly, I was shocked by what I discovered. (Woo, anxiety!)

The fear that I may not be living up to someone’s expectations, or, really, their unspoken assumptions about how someone else should be, tends to rule over (most of) my…


I often say to my therapist, “I don’t want to make my life about healing.” And then I remember how women went hundreds — sorry, thousands — of years without appropriate medical or psychiatric attention. I think about how hysteria was the original cancer, brought to the Western world by good ol’ Freud himself, and how the term wasn’t dismissed from the DSM-III until 1980.

I think about how Hippocrates believed that women became sick due to misaligned uteruses, how the cure was either abstinence or repentance or some combination of the two.

I think about how many times I…


I’ll be honest. I have not wanted to write for a while. Like countless others who live with chronic illness of any sort, I have been struggling to find my footing in a rather thick “fog,” which makes it very difficult to concentrate and, consequently, to write. One of the hardest hurdles to overcome has been the near-constant sense of apathy I experience toward almost everything and everyone.

But things are changing. If nothing else, I would be thrilled to provide any form of hope to those suffering from an illness (or illnesses) that causes brain fog, depression, or dissociation…

Sky Cowley

poet/artist/writer, writing about mental & physical health, film, etc. (they/them)

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