Perhaps film’s greatest power is its ability to make us empathize. With such an immersive medium, a well-made movie can convince us in just two hours to care deeply about outlandish fictional characters and their concerns. All it takes is a little competent cinematography and committed acting to make an audience understand and identify with almost any protagonist.

So what about when that protagonist whose eyes we’re seeing through isn’t the most reliable narrator? Many directors have employed this singular power of film to make audiences empathize with unconventional characters, especially those suffering from deteriorating mental health. Mental illness is a difficult thing to grasp looking from the outside-in, but these movies each ...

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