By Malay Desai
From: Ekaterinburg (Russia), by Red Pepper
A public interest filmfor a non-profit institution working for diabetics and persons with disabilities is a first-person monologue by a man. He begins talking about diabetes, who takes the form of a lollypop sucking person, from the moment they met and spend their lives together. ‘Diabetes’ is shown doing annoying things first, such as jumping on beds and not letting his companion sleep. ‘But sometimes, even sworn enemies become friends’, the man says half-way through, followed by the two hanging out, exercising and sharing the family portraits. The film winds up with a man avoiding having popcorn from his wife’s bucket in a theatre, after getting a nudge from his friend. ‘Make friends with your diabetes, ask your doctor now’ is the final copy.
Why we Like?
In 2008, the Sugar Collective, an initiative spreading awareness about sugar-related health facts, published a print ad showing a woman donned in bomb squad gear in a room. She was cutting a cake while her family stayed safely away. ‘Are we not overreacting to the dangers of sugar?’, the copy read. In 2014, diabetes has claimed millions more, and is virtually short of being an epidemic in India, but the message still remains relevant.
The communication around the lifestyle disease, in most big cities, is often alarmist. We ourselves have read and heard the phrase ‘silent killer’ as a tag around diabetes. While medical practitioners themselves don't deny the adverse effects of it, most of them also believe that the disease can be tackled with simple disciplinary steps. By impersonating diabetes, this film simplifies the message and drives it right through.
There is a definite amount of humour in the first-person monologue here, with the narrator recalling his first meeting with diabetes, as if it were an adopted child. The ailment is in the form of one sweet-sucking, plump guy, who stays with his ‘host’ all day and night. The host, evidently, gets irked with forced companion and at one point also claims to ‘lose meaning in life’.
The diabetic’s psyche becomes an entertaining but factual avatar here, and portrays what it exactly feels while having pizzas, sweets and colas. But the crux of this film is the ‘shift in perspective’, and the latter half is filled with this meaning. The script is important here, ideas like ‘if you know your worst enemies well, they can be friends’ are what doctors tell you in complicated terms. To make diabetes ‘a friend’, the host must simply change his mindset and the annoying parasite will mend his ways too.
Toward the end, the ailment has become the host’s ‘personal nutritionist and trainer’, and as many diabetics would vouch, it helped them get in shape in their bulging 40s and 50s, thereby warding off a host of other potential ailments.
To all the 50 million plus diabetics here, happy friendship day.
To watch the film type‘bit.ly/ViewTubeNov17’in your browser
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