Experiencing Interruptions?

Once In A Blue Moon

Deadpool’s daughter meets She-Hulk in Shrek for a Game of Thrones.

Once in a Blue Moon is an experimental #MeToo that sets out to redefine my story of sexual assault and explore the depiction of mental health in film. Rather than fill my “time capsule” with a gruesome account of trauma and its long term consequences, I focus on how I became a champion for myself, putting in years of self-work and academic research to overcome it. I wrote, narrated, filmed, directed, and produced my #MeToo a year into COVID, at a point I needed a victory after so much collective loss. Though grappling with traumatic themes, the tone achieves a sense of zen, combining yin energy in the story’s reflection and yang energy through its plot. This time capsule marks a rite of passage — the moment I released the past, rose from the ashes, and restored inner balance.

My story serves to empower others, in hopes they will reclaim their voices too. It is a reminder that social and emotional support structures are essential protective factors for PTSD and c-PTSD. Most importantly, Once in a Blue Moon reframes vulnerability with self as a strength in overcoming adversity through a glimpse of a few people and situations in my life story. An actualization of the yoga sequence algorithm that restored my neuroplasticity, this time capsule takes a “Paul Atreides of India” approach to documentary through its nonlinear storytelling, common in Bollywood. The ending is a tribute to my studies of German cinema and Bessel van der Kolk’s “The Body Keeps Score”.

Why Metaphors and Magic Realism?
C-PTSD damages the parts of the brain responsible for processing and communicating experiences, particularly around trauma and related stimuli. The unspeakable thus becomes best expressed through allusions to pre-existing notions and imagery that introduces a new way of understanding it. In visually memorializing my fight to restore neuroplasticity, I celebrate the return of my inner child, my creative, truest self who radiates light through pop culture references and hard-earned wisdom.

Because existing epistemologies inherently limit communication, this film strings metaphors and anecdotes to document my story from the beginning of my trauma work to the night I “broke the wheel”. It testifies to my recovery, demonstrating my ability to reorganize and remap my brain’s neurons through the same nonlinear blueprint that characterizes my yoga practice. It reflects my drive and years of commitment to embodying healthy patterns that support a holistic lifestyle.

  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Student
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 3 seconds
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Duke University