HOTDOCS REVIEW: Any Given Day a difficult portrait of mental health struggles

Currently screening for HotDocs, this incredible documentary looks at the difficulties with mental health through the lives of three Chicago residents.

Director Margaret Byrne shows the highs and the lows of dealing with emotional issues, and doesn’t shy away from the ugly spots.

Three participants in the Mental Health Court in Cook County try to get back on track and take control of their lives. It’s an involving tale as we watch these people struggle and push to find happiness and a semblance of normalcy.

Angela, Daniel and Dimitar are all dealing with the after-effects of incarceration for crimes they committed while undergoing mental health crises, and they want to triumph and find new meaning.

Dimitar lives with his mother, has self-published a book about schizophrenia, and looks forward to finding work. Daniel is moving into his own apartment and will have more responsibilities. Final, Angela is receiving custody of her young son, and wants to build a better life for him.

Their trials and tribulations are chronicled in detail, and the access director Byrne is given allows us to peek behind the curtain and gain a huge level of empathy for this issue and these people.

It’s a hugely affecting documentary and is well worth the close look.

4/5 Stars

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