UnMute review: An eye-opening depiction of how mental health impacts a community


From the makers of Man Down, Element Films premiered UnMute on Tuesday 4 May at The Princess Royal Centre for the Performing Arts. 

Wynter Tyson, film fan and member of the Agilisys Guernsey team, shares what he thinks of the newest film by local filmmaker Gaz Papworth.

UnMute (2021), a locally made documentary by Guernsey filmmaker Gareth Papworth, might feel overwhelming at times but it is also an eye-opening and, ultimately, rewarding film. Following on from Man Down (2019), this second feature broadens its scope from male mental health to present a community wide view of depression, those living with it and the numerous issues contributing to it. 

The film’s strength is in the power of the stories of those appearing on camera. Although unassuming and reserved in real life (and perhaps because of this), all of the subjects have placed their trust in Papworth to the point where he has been able to capture powerful, honest and often painful testimonies. The film underlines these voices by favouring a framing style that presents individuals almost directly addressing the audience. This is countered by cutaways that allow breathing space by placing the participants back into the world and their lives. 

This is a film that, once again, will start conversations around the issues that it presents and raise awareness of the lives being lived, often out of sight, by our friends, neighbours, colleagues and strangers on the bus. Like most social issues, mental health is not a minority problem and UnMute provides a clear picture of how suffering ripples across a community. 

UnMute is being screened at Princess Royal Centre for Performing Arts on 11 and 18 May. Tickets are available to buy via www.guernseytickets.gg.

Wynter Tyson

Wynter Tyson is the Service Performance & Training Officer at Agilisys Guernsey. Outside of work, Wynter also hosts a monthly film screening of new, forgotten and cult films at Clameur Du Cinéma.