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How a ball kick to the head triggered a black comedy of sickness and mania

‘I’d been hit in the head by the ball my whole life. But this time I guess it hit me in the wrong spot.’

When Kenneth E Seligson was an undergraduate at Brown University, he was playing in an intramural soccer game that sent a ball straight at his head – a mundane moment that would trigger an almost unfathomable downward spiral, both medical and personal. In Nueva Vida, he recounts the acutely distressing tale of his subsequent sickness, mania and near-kidnapping in Mexico, while his brother, the New York filmmaker Jonathan Seligson, provides the animation. Despite the horror of the tale, Jonathan’s cartoon visuals and Kenneth’s deadpan delivery build a layer of pitch-black humour around a most harrowing chain of events.

2 September 2019

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