A Swan’s Song Image

A Swan’s Song

By Alan Ng | February 18, 2024

Jen Hogue and Rob Underhill’s short film, A Swan’s Song, brings awareness to how bipolar disorder can affect our lives and those we love.

Our tale opens with Julie (Jen Hogue) unable to get out of bed. Her sister, Katie (Chrissy Hogue Bartels), because today of all days, Julie must get up and stand up for herself in court as she fights for custody of her baby boy. The stress of the situation has only amplified Julie’s bipolar disorder.

In flashbacks, we witness altercations between Julie and her husband, and ultimately, the judge decides that Julie can only see her son through supervised visitation. Her first visit doesn’t go well.

“The stress of the situation has only amplified Julie’s bipolar disorder.”

At almost 18 minutes, A Swan’s Song tells Julie’s story, which is very similar to what I and many of my friends have gone through when trying to help a loved one diagnosed with bipolar.

Along with Julie, this story is just as much Katie’s as well. As a family, Katie wants to help her sister, who can’t help herself. Katie wants to help but realizes she is just not equipped in a way that solves Julie’s problem, which leads to feelings of helplessness.

In A Swan’s Song, filmmakers Underhill and Hogue hope their story “will help inspire tough conversations that lead to positive social change, as well as encourage those suffering with mental illness to seek help.”

A Swan's Song (2024)

Directed and Written: Jen Hogue, Rob Underhill

Starring: Jen Hogue, Chrissy Hogue Bartels, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

A Swan's Song Image

"…will help inspire tough conversations..."

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