Dealing with brain injury in Scotland is such a massively complicated subject it’s impossible to know where to start. Thankfully BIEN – the Brain Injuries Experience Network, have attempted to make a start with their DVD entitled ‘Getting Your Head Around Brain Injury’. It should be recommended viewing for the families and friends of people who have brain injuries. It deserves a much wider viewing than that.
The DVD’s message is “Don’t Give Up”.
I had a load of clichés ready to use to describe this film but few of them seemed relevant after viewing. What dominates throughout is the sense of humour from the men involved. The ability to overcome the cruel situation they have found themselves in and still joke is something to admire.
Technically, the video isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster but at 21 minutes it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome either. Time constraints and other factors have only benefitted the film as a whole; improving the focus on the subject matter. The music is a key part of what makes this film successful. This music is provided by members of BIEN, under the guise of SHIMS, The Scottish Head Injuries Music Society, with compositions from Robin Lucas. There is even a well-placed special effect; one I’ll leave for the viewers to spot.
All the contributors have experienced some form of brain injury including those suffered during violent attack, which is probably a major factor in the statistics stated during the early part of the film. The film examines the deeply personal experiences of a group of men in the West Dunbartonshire area. The first section of the film is cleverly structured to form part of this narrative.
After touching on the circumstances of their injuries it shows the pain and anger they have faced loosing a significant part of their lives. Then the video follows their process of rebuilding a life for themselves. If anything the DVD understates the determination and effort they have demonstrated during their recoveries.
This shouldn’t be allowed to take away the rightful sense of achievement for those who have taken part in the making of this film.
It’s not easy to share feelings of depression with those around you – dealing with a mental effect of a physical ailment is most likely a low priority in most other people’s opinion. It is an act of bravery to share their deeply felt experiences. Brain injuries have a profound effect on the individuals their families, friends and work colleagues. In the end they sing defiantly at what life has thrown at them. That’s what makes them heroes.
You can out more on the Outside the Box website and watch the 2 minute trailer: www.otbds.org/bien
Community Reporter Team.