Halle Berry Takes Mental Illness Head On In New Movie “Frankie & Alice”, Now Playing In Theaters


Terrie logoPhoto of Terrie                                               Terrie Williams


 I encourage everyone to RUN and see Frankie & Alice, the powerful portrayal of the true story of an African-American go go dancer suffering from multiple personalities.The film, distributed by Lionsgate/Codeblack Films, is now playing in select theaters today–April 4th –and features stellar performances by Academy Award® winner Halle Berry, the legendary Phylicia Rashad, Grey’s Anatomy star Chandra Wilson and Stellan Skarsgård. In the film, Frankie (Halle Berry) struggles to stay in touch with her true self while she confronts two distinct personalities, “Genius” a seven year old and “Alice” a white southern racist. In her quest to silence the voices in her head, Frankie seeks the help of a psychotherapist (Stellan Skarsgård) as she faces her demons and confronts childhood trauma.

While I encourage everyone to go out and see this amazing film, it’s important to remember the prevalence of unchecked mental illness especially in urban communities nationwide. In a recent CNN article (Read It Here), the focus was on a number of residents in urban areas who were in fact suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), a by product of the violence they encounter daily. According to psychiatrist Dr. Kerry Ressler and his colleagues, PTSD is more prevalent in some urban neighborhoods than among war veterans.

Halle signage

PTSD is an undiscriminating and very debilitating mental illness that results from repeated or prolonged exposure to traumatic events, forcing the victim to remain in an alert “fight or flight” mode. This renders them unable to make logical decisions because of the perceived threat. According to the article on PTSD, ” In a child, damage can be magnified and lead to problems like dissociative identity disorder”–commonly known as multiple personalities disorder.

In her new autobiography, actress Rosie Perez speaks about her own struggle with her PTSD diagnosis and a troubled relationship with her mother–following a violent event. “I wanted to believe I was above what happened to me, but when a doctor told me I had PTSD, I realized I did not have control over my emotional responses ” said Perez.

 I hope this film inspires a conversation or a second look at people like Frankie or individuals such as Chris Brown (who was recently diagnosed with PTSD and Bipolar Disorder). You never know what people are dealing with underneath the mask they wear–we all have our own journey. Be kind to all you meet.







About Terrie M. Williams

Terrie M. Williams is a mental health activist and  the author of “Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting”.

You can follow her on Facebook and  Twitter



Quick Links



To book Terrie for speaking engagements, please email your comments/requests to tmwms@terriewilliams.com

Thank You for Visiting Tell Others...And Please Leave a Reply to This Story.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s