FMTV - Crazy Wise

Crazy Wise

Runtime: 82m 12s | Release date: 2017

What can we learn from those who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience?

During a quarter-century documenting indigenous cultures, human-rights photographer and filmmaker Phil Borges often saw these cultures identify 'psychotic' symptoms as an indicator of shamanic potential. He was intrigued by how differently psychosis is defined and treated in the West.

Through interviews with renowned mental health professionals including Gabor Mate, MD, Robert Whitaker, and Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD, Phil explores the growing severity of the mental health crisis in America dominated by biomedical psychiatry. He discovers a growing movement of professionals and psychiatric survivors who demand alternative treatments that focus on recovery, nurturing social connections, and finding meaning.

CRAZYWISE follows two young Americans diagnosed with "mental illness". Adam, 27, suffers devastating side effects from medications before embracing meditation in hopes of recovery. Ekhaya, 32, survives childhood molestation and several suicide attempts before spiritual training to become a traditional South African healer gives her suffering meaning and brings a deeper purpose to her life.

CRAZYWISE doesn't aim to over-romanticize indigenous wisdom or completely condemn Western treatment. Not every indigenous person who has a crisis becomes a shaman. And many individuals benefit from Western medications.

However, indigenous peoples' acceptance of non-ordinary states of consciousness, along with rituals and metaphors that form deep connections to nature, to each other, and to ancestors, is something we can learn from.

CRAZYWISE adds a voice to the growing conversation that believes a psychological crisis can be an opportunity for growth and potentially transformational, not a disease with no cure.


Adam Gentry
Ekhaya Esima
Dr. Gabor Mate 
Robert Whitaker
Dr. Roshi Joan Halifax
Phil Borges


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Comments / 66

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leona yhap | 4 months, 3 weeks ago
Very educational. Makes you understand people in all different aspects. Thank you for sharing 🙏🏻
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Iris Aguanta | FMTV | 4 months, 3 weeks ago
You're very much welcome, Leona! Glad to hear you loved the film 😊 ~ Iris@FMTV
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Myriam Anouk Augereau | 6 months, 1 week ago
Great film! To watch again and again. Our voices are rising! (Without playing with words).
It’s the second time I’ve seen this movie this month (it was shown subtiled in French in a theater in Montréal City for the celebration of International day of Hearing voices people. The theater was full and spectators with truthfull joy applauded it at the end ).
I’ve been hearing voices (even though all my senses can be touched) for many years now as some of the characters the film. In the beginning they were invasive, had to to through the bio-medical system, but over the years I learned to negociate with them (voices and the biomédical- not an easy task , stil going through it, but I feel doable in my case), and got some tools to help me by going to hearing voices people groups; there are a rising numbers of these type of groups here in Montreal and all over the Province of Quebec (and happily , elsewhere in the occidental world too).
I wish « good life  » to this documentary and hope that many more films about this subject will be produced! Thank you for sharing this movie with us...
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Iris Aguanta | FMTV | 6 months, 1 week ago
You're very much welcome, Myriam! Glad to hear you loved this documentary and thank you for taking the time to comment! ❤️ ~ Iris@FMTV
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krystal kouvaras | 8 months, 2 weeks ago
Really enjoyed this film. Anyone who has been through a psychological crisis can look at this film and feel nothing but empowered.
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Ivory David | FMTV | 8 months, 2 weeks ago
Thank you for watching Krystal, it's nice knowing this film sits well on you ~ Ivory :)
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Vanessa Di Sauro | 11 months ago
Love the trailer! Will be watching this tonight. So many people can benefit from this.
Thank you for this gift
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Iris Aguanta | FMTV | 11 months ago
It is our great pleasure to share this amazing documentary with the world, Vanessa! ❤ ~ Iris
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Petya Petrova | 1 year ago
One of the best films ever, thank you for having the chance to see it.
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Pauline Balidiong | FMTV | 1 year ago
Thank you for the feedback, Petya :) ~ Pauline