A Queens artist is sharing his journey through the mental health system with an original musical documentary. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
Issa Ibrahim hopes his film will take viewers to a place few have been - inside the mind of a man who spent twenty-years in a mental institution.
"I knew very little about signing myself into a hospital or what goes on behind those doors," said Ibrahim, a Richmond Hill resident.
In 1990, Ibrahim killed his mother in what he calls a marijuana-induced psychosis.
He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and spent the following twenty years locked up at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, where the doctors diagnosed him as a paranoid schizophrenic.
"It's very traumatic thing. My family is still at odds with me about it and my community; some members of my community will still kind of stigmatize me or kind of have funny feelings about it. But that's one of the main reasons I made this film," said Ibrahim.
Ibrahim's film "Patient's Rites" is a musical documentary of his time spent at Creedmoor.
It pieces together songs he wrote with dialogue about the stigma surrounding mental health.
"[I want] to kind of giving hope and a voice to the voiceless. And hope to the hopeless for mentally ill people and people of my community who can identify with some of the themes in the film," said Ibrahim.
“Patient's Rites” is one of six films to be screened at the Mental Health Film Festival at the Village East Cinema Saturday
"The majority of the films are made by people who live with mental health concerns but are themselves filmmakers. And, they can show mental concerns in a funny or serious light," explained Carla Rabinowitz, the Advocacy Coordinator for Community Access, a not-for-profit that assists New Yorkers living with psychiatric disabilities.
As for Ibrahim, he hopes his story starts a conversation.
"To help educate those who have no idea what it's like, to give them maybe a better purview of what it's like to be a mentally ill person," said Ibrahim.
For more information about the film head to www.mentalhealthfilmfest.nyc.