Transference: A true film about relationships & mental health Written by Nikolas Antoniades, Psychotherapist

As if to relieve us from our busily speedy lives, Degrutolla offers a slow paced drama which looks deeply into the dynamics of a relationship between Nik and Katerina. This is no ordinary relationship though, οr is it? But what is ordinary anyway? And what makes up a relationship in the first place? While we find ourselves struggling with these questions, we watch the two characters battle in the workplace, within their friendships, and with what society understands as mental health.

Nik and Katerina transfer into their evolving relationship remnants of their past histories. We get a glimpse of Katerina trying to cope with a troubled family back at her home country. And then it's Nik; a man surrounded by mystery about his past, as we gradually find out a series of tremendous losses that have knocked his sense of being.

Degrutolla manages skillfully to place the relationship on a pendulum, oscillating between sanity and insanity. Is this a healthy relationship? And while we find out by the end who carries a diagnosis, it remains painfully unclear whether what the partner goes through. in their internal upheaval is sane at all. Painful, because it poses questions within ourselves about how we deal with loss, and what mental defenses we built to protect the functionality of our demanding lives

Degrutolla literally places this relationship on a London suburb bridge. One, that is there to connect the sane with the insane part of ourselves; one that is there as a reminder of the mental splitting between internal and external reality. And once the split goes too deep with one betrayal and one loss too many, then a mental health crisis happens, and suddenly what feels as real inside, crashes with an unforgiving version of external reality. Is this a mental breakdown, or an opportunity for truth to surface?

In the closing scenes Degrutolla places the two characters standing upon the ruins of their relationship, and against the ugliness of mental illness. Is there a future for them? Is there hope that in accepting our mental health limitations, we can embrace as a society other people with mental health difficulties? After all, we've all crossed that bridge one way or the other..

-Nikolas Antoniades

Member of The Association of Child Psychotherapists, UK

Created By
Nikolas Antoniadesi