Nyctophobia

9 minutes

Why did the Mexican jumping bean jump?

4 minutes

Gardening with Nietzsche

8 minutes

Steve is undocumented

10 minutes

You and the thing that you love

12 minutes

The dark side of ego loss – what it’s like to disappear into depersonalisation

Warning: this film features rapidly flashing images that can be distressing to photosensitive viewers.

Ego loss is often characterised as an enlightened and contented state – the purview of such soul-searchers as deep meditators, psychonauts and ardent Buddhists. But as some people who struggle with anxiety understand all too well, the perpetual feeling of self-dissolution known as depersonalisation can be one of the nastiest manifestations of their disorder. The condition involves a harrowing feeling of detachment from oneself that can arise in an instant, sometimes last for years, and is often accompanied by a derealisation, in which the world appears strange and surreal.

In this short film, the French-Canadian filmmaker and set designer Jean-François Boisvenue explores how a lifetime of precarious mental health culminated in an excruciating period of depersonalisation in his early 20s. Using animated light displays projected onto his body to convey his sense of discord, Boisvenue recalls how depersonalisation swept over him, upending his sense of self and reality for months before he was able to heal.

Director: Jean-François Boisvenue

Website: La Distributrice

How moth larvae carve out cozy, mobile homes inside Mexican jumping beans

You might know that moth larvae are the hidden creatures that make Mexican jumping beans jump. You might also know that Mexican jumping beans aren’t ‘beans’ at all, but seed pods – those of a shrub native to the Sonoran Desert, which straddles the border of Mexico, Arizona and California. But, as this video from the science documentary series Deep Look explores, burrowing further into the lives of Mexican jumping bean inhabitants still makes for highly fascinating viewing. Captured in stunning 4K resolution, this short film documents the months that a jumping bean moth larva spends hollowing out, residing inside, and manually repairing and relocating its 10mm home, before ultimately emerging in its mature form.

Video by KQED Science

Producer and Writer: Mike Seely

Narrator and Writer: Laura Klivans

Cinematographer: Kevin Collins

Amid the chaos of being, Nietzsche believed that plants offer us inspiration for living

Aristotle thought that plants possess what he called a ‘vegetative soul’. Centred on growing and reproducing, this primordial, unthinking state of being was encompassed and far surpassed by the ‘rational soul’ of humans. Friedrich Nietzsche, however, believed that, in the overwhelming confusion of considering how we might live, there was much we could learn from plants – deeply rooted in the ground and yet limitlessly expressive as they are. Borrowing from some of Nietzsche’s lesser-known writings, this short video essay might just inspire you to look at a plant growing through a crack in the ‘inhospitable ground’ – and perhaps even Nietzsche himself – in a new light.

Video by The DOX Channel

Writer: Zoe Almon Job

Animator: Theo Garcia

Meet the British bouncer in LA on an expired visa who has no time for immigrants

Steve is a former weightlifter who still keeps up with quite a few hobbies: fitness, heavy metal music, clay sculpture, bikes, motorcycles, and lots and lots of weapons. He works as a bouncer outside a Los Angeles nightclub, making small talk with the (often over-served) young patrons, and throwing out troublemakers. And, as he’ll tell anyone who’ll listen, he hates what immigration is doing to the country – despite being a Brit who’s overstayed his own US visa by 25 years. Steve Is Undocumented captures him at a moment of transition, preparing for a move back to England with his wife, who is pregnant with twins. With their stylish and often wry profile, the directors Michael Barth and Kauai Moliterno build a complex portrait in just 10 minutes, capturing the many intricacies and blaring hypocrisies of Steve’s life and worldview.

Directors: Michael Barth, Kauai Moliterno

Producer: Nathan Truesdell

After losing his sight, a skateboarder takes an unexpected path to realising his dreams

Nick Mullins fell in love with skateboarding as a teenager and, rather quickly, became quite skilled. As one of the best young skateboarders in the Detroit area, he was putting together a video to catch the attention of sponsors, when, after taking a rough but mostly innocuous fall, he scraped the side of his body and contracted a staph infection. He would barely escape with his life, and after waking up from a medically induced coma, realised he had gone blind. Believing he had no prospects – in skating or in life – he fell into a deep depression. The short documentary You and the Thing That You Love retells how Mullins would eventually realise his dreams, albeit by taking a very much unanticipated path. Capturing Mullins’s story with kinetic style, the US filmmaker Nicholas Maher avoids cliché to create a standout portrait of perseverance and love of craft – and one that can be savoured even if you don’t know your ‘blunts’ from your ‘fakies’.

Director: Nicholas Maher

The dark side of ego loss – what it’s like to disappear into depersonalisation

Warning: this film features rapidly flashing images that can be distressing to photosensitive viewers.

Ego loss is often characterised as an enlightened and contented state – the purview of such soul-searchers as deep meditators, psychonauts and ardent Buddhists. But as some people who struggle with anxiety understand all too well, the perpetual feeling of self-dissolution known as depersonalisation can be one of the nastiest manifestations of their disorder. The condition involves a harrowing feeling of detachment from oneself that can arise in an instant, sometimes last for years, and is often accompanied by a derealisation, in which the world appears strange and surreal.

In this short film, the French-Canadian filmmaker and set designer Jean-François Boisvenue explores how a lifetime of precarious mental health culminated in an excruciating period of depersonalisation in his early 20s. Using animated light displays projected onto his body to convey his sense of discord, Boisvenue recalls how depersonalisation swept over him, upending his sense of self and reality for months before he was able to heal.

Director: Jean-François Boisvenue

Website: La Distributrice

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Photo by Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Essay/
Information and communication
The misinformation virus

Lies and distortions don’t just afflict the ignorant. The more you know, the more vulnerable you can be to infection

Elitsa Dermendzhiyska

Photo by Elliott Landy / Magnum Photos

Essay/
Beauty and aesthetics
A philosophy of sound

From the Big Bang to a heartbeat in utero, sounds are a scaffold for thought when logic and imagery elude us

Christina Rawls