DiD is short for Dissociative Identity Disorder, a psychological condition where an individual switches between multiple distinct personalities, with each separate identity not aware of the actions of the other identities. It’s this condition that the sole character in Jake Wynne’s beautifully shot short-film must wrestle with.
The man we follow comes from a troubled background and has recently lost his mother. One of his personalities wants to scatter her ashes as a tribute, but his angrier personality believes she doesn’t deserve this gesture, while a third personality silently watches on. We have our protagonist and antagonist contained in the same person, setting up an intriguing battle of wills.
The danger with such complex character setups in short-films is the filmmaker tries to explore too much, creating a film that’s muddled, unfocused and ultimately unsatisfying. This is something that Wynne thankfully avoids, as he uses the condition of DID more as a tool to motivate the real, rather simple story of one man’s attempt to honour his mother. This has served to make a film that I wager is more relatable and moving than a film that focuses more intently on the condition itself.
In creating this focused and well-executed film, a considerable amount of credit goes to the actor, Jefferson Hall, and the director of photography, Mel Griffith. Hall confidently portrays a character who is angry and frustrated at himself, as well as the rest of the world. It’s a part that may tempt some into melodrama, thrashing away and screaming into the abyss, but Hall is more restrained and delivers a very troubled, but very human character. Griffith, meanwhile, works with the stunning scenery of Snowdonia to great effect, making the film properly cinematic.
Wynne comes from a background of adverts and music videos, formats that tend to lend themselves to the frenetic and loud, but with DiD he has delivered a delicate but confident short. He uses the stunning location to great effect, celebrating the majesty of the setting, but at the same time keeps the focus on the character at the heart of the story, helping to draw the viewer in and guide them through a fractured reality, delivering a fascinating and focused tale of one man’s battle with himself.