SHORT FILM: 646 Million Seconds by Rachel Barber

Rachel Barber’s film 646 Million Seconds was created and submitted as her university dissertation. She originally started the film as a project to discuss the relationship between music and well-being in other people. Rachel was interviewing her friend Raf who makes music under the name ‘Solo Project’ and who has just released an album called ‘Panic Attacks Are Real!!! (and so are monsters)’. Rachel started to feel dishonest making a film about this topic and not mentioning how mental illness affects herself, and that she uses music and creative processes to help moderate them. The project then developed into a reflexive autobiographical piece, a way for Rachel to experiment with film-making. She still intends to release the documentary with Raf but it seemed important that she tells her story first.
The purpose of the film was to convey her relationship with mental health, but also physically demonstrate how she use the process of creating as an outlet for her anxiety and depression. The entire film was made, scripted and edited by Rachel and she also created the music. Her housemate Sophie Miraftab helped her film. The film as a whole is Rachel’s attempt to feel in control of some small part of her mental illness’ and accept that they are part of her life.
Rachel is inspired by Agnès Varda’s documentaries and her autobiographical documentary Les Plages d’Agnès, was a big influence on her dissertation. She likes the way she contrasts old footage with new to construct an identity for herself.

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