Mark Aitken – director – Dead When I Got Here
FRED’s Matt Micucci interviews Mark Aitkins, director of the documentary DEAD WHEN I GOT HERE, which screened at the 60th Cork Film Festival in the illuminate strand, which presents films dealing with the delicate theme of mental illness.
Mark Aitken talks to us about the asylum in which the film takes place, how he first found out about this place and his initial reaction to it. He also talks about the challenges of making a film dealing with this particularly delicate issue without it being defined by expert narration, also revealing why he did not mean to make DEAD WHEN I GOT HERE some kind of exposé, but rather pay tribute to the inhabitants of this establishment.
DEAD WHEN I GOT HERE: A film about a man finding purpose for his life in the most unlikely place after years of self-destruction. Josué was cast out of the traumatised streets of Juárez, México into the desert and dumped in a mental asylum run by its own patients. Assisted by people employing empathy as the only means of survival, Josué transcended near death – discovering compassion in his darkest hours. Six years later, Josué manages the asylum and dreams of his estranged daughter. This is a story about sorrow and hardship but also about healing and redemption.