Mental Health Channel Online Film Festival: Leben! By Carolin Farber [2015 Vision Winner]

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on

This is a transformative tale about a man’s battle with OCD.

What I liked most about this film is the main character’s ability to identify his disorder and triumph over it. He has taken the extra steps needed to recognize his triggers and find potential solutions for them. We see his symptoms manifest themselves as germaphobia and agoraphobia, and it is apparent that he is having a hard time coping. What is nice to see, however, is a film that portrays OCD behavior in a different light. I really enjoyed the part where the main character meets his love interest. I like what she represents to him in his life: hope. She represents a chance for something normal, for acceptance in a place where he may not feel truly at peace. The main character asked the universe for a distraction from his disorder and he got it. This girl is the very opposite of him. She is messy and imperfect. The first time they met, she picked up a carrot from the floor of a train, dusted it off, and ate it. This is a vile scenario the main character would never have imagined himself in, but this girl’s courage inadvertently gives him the courage he needed to get through the final scene of the movie. It is the very chaos that she exudes that makes him believe that he can face anything and still survive, all because he knows she survived it first.