follows a young African American woman
who lives with multiple mental health diagnoses. This short captures fragments of a complex person who works through intersections of race, policing & mental health.
Directed by Elena Guzman
Produced by Kim Edwards & Laura Menchaca Ruiz
Smile4Kime is a short documentary about a mental health, race, and policing through the eyes and experience of a young African American woman dealing with the trauma of sexual assault. We witness how Kime copes with and understands her multiple mental health diagnosis including dissassociative identity disorder and depression.
The film’s narrative unfolds through a series of interviews with Kime as she reveals her struggles with her family, the police, health care professionals, and dealing with the racial stereotypes that often play a role in shaping her diagnosis. Interspersed with footage of Kime’s youtube videos, dances, and poems we see multiple parts and selves of Kime including Kayleigh, Tori, and Jordan. Each of whom play a crucial role in allowing Kime to live her day to day life. Underlying the narrative is a deep friendship between the filmmaker and Kime that allow deep and intimate conversations to feel intense, emotional, and lighthearted. In sharing her story, Kime attempts dislodge the common misconceptions around mental health. We see a comedic, vibrant, and diligent side of Kime that defies expectations and adds complexity to people’s understanding of mental health. Smile4Kime concludes with a dance choreographed by Kime that takes it inspiration from the title of the film. She dances and invites us to smile for her.