Stephen is auditioning to play himself in an inventive, cinematic and moving exploration of addiction and mental health.
Visual artist Melanie Manchot works with a recovery group in Liverpool, who take up roles in a semi-fictional film-within-a-film that explores addiction and mental health from multiple perspectives. It is centred around Stephen, a character recovering from gambling and alcohol addictions. References to the first police crime reconstruction, filmed in Liverpool in 1901, are a reminder that addiction has long existed within the fabric of our culture. It’s a tough process and emotionally charged scenes reveal inner truths, which gain additional power when the people playing the roles are, in some sense, playing themselves. Visually striking, STEPHEN
is a startling record of this form of treatment and a reminder of how dextrous the documentary form can be.