Hip Hop & Mental Health: The Mars Project

Mars-ProjectThe Mars Project is an interesting documentary based on the life of Khari “Conspiracy” Stewart who along with his twin brother Addi “Mindbender” Stewart form the Canadian crew Supreme Being Unit. The twins are good kids and straight A students throughout their early years. All is well until 1996 when Khari begins to be tormented by Anacron and Anacrona, the names of two voices in his head, that tell him the only way to silence them is to end his life. In his mind Khari is fighting a spiritual war against two
demons while his doctors believe he is a crazy person that hears things. It’s here where the film tries to show that not all things are so black and white. Through Khari’s struggles the documentary takes a look at mental health treatment, diagnosis, schizophrenia and the supportive but emotionally worn down family wishing for normalcy.

At times throughout the film Khari occasionally appears socially well adjusted making some valid arguments, creating and releasing independent music, performing at shows and clearly understanding that he needs help. At one point he even agrees to submit to testing at a mental institution only to find himself as the newest resident for the next year. After being pumped with medication and numerous discussions with doctors, Khari stated that the voices were gone….so he could get the hell out of the hospital. And who could really blame him.

There are several talking heads throughout the flick expounding on the limitations and the flaws within the field but with no true solution which brings us back to Khari. Ultimately, the film is a snippet of his life. There’s no happy or sad ending, no cure or real improvement just a man trying to deal with his everyday struggle.

For more on the Mars Project please visit: http://marsprojectmovie.blogspot.com/

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