Mills’ intriguing documentary looks at the effects of depression and mood-altering drugs on young people, a theme he first explored in his debut fiction feature ‘Thumbsucker’. The title is a slogan used by drug company GlaxoSmithKline in a Japanese advertising campaign that ran in 2000. Before this, the concept of depression, or ‘utsu’, was virtually unknown in Japan. Mills travelled to Tokyo to meet five sufferers whose lives were changed, for better or worse, by the increase in awareness and availability of medication that followed. While it’s fascinating to observe a country ahead of the world in so many ways playing catch-up here, it’s the characters – ordinary and eccentric, desperate and content – who give the film’s concerns an achingly human context.
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