© 2016-19 Tom Sands

Rupert, Rupert & Rupert

A bittersweet comedy-drama about a struggling actor with multiple personality disorder whose three identities battle for control when he wins the lead role in a West End play and falls for the pretty makeup artist. 

RUPERT, RUPERT & RUPERT will be released in the US and UK on 26th April 2019 through Global Digital Releasing.

A TRULY COMPASSIONATE FILM ABOUT DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) has featured in a range of films, including Fight Club, Identity, Primal Fear, Psycho, Shutter Island and more recently Split. All of these films portray people with DID negatively. Just as autism tends to make film characters mathematical geniuses, DID tends to make them psychos. Mental health problems are distorted and confused in the process.

 

Movies like Split can be extremely damaging, argues Dr Simone Reinders, a neuroscientist studying DID at King’s College London: “They make it seem as if patients with DID are extremely violent and prone to doing bad things. This is actually not true and it very badly misrepresents the psychiatric disorder. Individuals with DID definitely do not have a tendency to be violent; more a tendency to hide their mental health problems.”[1]

 

To avoid falling into the same trap as Split, which enraged the DID community, the creators of Three Acts recruited the help of psychotherapist Russell Rose, who has experience of DID. Russell consulted extensively on the script and worked with the actors prior to the shoot, paying special attention to Sandy Batchelor’s interpretation of three distinct personalities, and Adam Astill’s portrayal of a realistic psychotherapist.

 

Russell said, “I found Tom and Mick (director and writer) to be impressive in their quest for therapeutic integrity in a medium that doesn't easily translate it, and with a subject that is so often misrepresented in the cinema, where the homicidal threat of the character is generally emphasised over the traumatising background that propels the psychological fragmentation into DID in the first place. They attest to this background story, to how it is living in the present-day of Rupert's experience of life, even how it becomes enacted in the dynamics with his psychotherapist; and they succeed in centring the film around Rupert's internal struggle and how it manifests in his outer world, and they do so with considerable compassion.”

 

The creators also consulted with a person who has DID, and who was able to offer guidance on Sandy’s performance.

 

Tom says: “With Three Acts, we didn’t set out to educate people. We just wanted to be true and compassionate, and we believe we have created a character with authenticity and depth. We have consciously avoided any exposition about DID - in fact it isn’t even mentioned in the film - as we felt that this would detract from Rupert's emotional journey.”

 

[1] theguardian.com/film/2017/jan/12/cinema-dissociative-personality-disorder-split-james-mcavoy