15 films about social phobia to understand this problem.
Movies about social phobia to understand the experiences that come into play in this disorder.
Social phobia involves fear of contact with others, fear that something will go wrong in public or that strangers will hurt us. It is not shyness or simple withdrawal, but a real psychological problem.
There are many manuals that describe in detail this anxiety disorder, giving some examples and mentioning its symptoms, but often the best examples come from the seventh art.
As a picture is worth more than a word today we will know 15 movies on the social phobia to understand this problem..
Movies of social phobia: 15 cinephilic recommendations
Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, fear and anxiety are so severe and pathological that they can seriously alter the mental health and social performance of the person. Sufferers cannot develop a full life, being affected their studies, employment, relationships with family and friends, in addition to not being able to have a normal daily life.
Cinema has always been a great tool to expose all kinds of experiences, emotions and situations and, of course, it has also delved into representing the lives of those who suffer from social phobia. Below we will discover several films in which this disorder is present, either in the main character or in some of the characters that accompany him..
1. Zelig (Woody Allen, 1983)
Woody Allen's films usually cause us anxiety and with his mockumentary "Zelig", it was not going to be the exception, perfect expositor about social phobia.
While the parties make his sister and her lover rich and fun, the protagonist, Zelig, has a rather empty existence, very discreet. He does not possess a great personality and his social skills are rather limited. He feels lonely, useless and worthless.. No one cares about him and he thinks he has many enemies, who give him the feeling that they are watching him.
Zelig, lacking the affection of his family, reinvents himself as a person and tries to adapt to life, trying to go as unnoticed as possible. He is a true chameleon who He is a real chameleon who fulfills what every person with social phobia desires: to be socially accepted at all times.. Even so, as the reserved and tormented character he is, he decides to undergo therapy to see if, by chance, he can find his own identity before he is subdued by that of others.
2. Housekeeping (Bill Forsyth, 1987)
Two sisters have to cope with their mother's suicide, isolation and living in a broken home in 1950's rural Idaho. As they grow older, introverted and neurotic Ruth (Sara Walker) begins to feel overshadowed by her younger sister Lucille (Andrea Burchill). When the strange Aunt Sylvie (Christine Lahti) comes to take care of the sisters, the conservative townspeople and the increasingly prominent younger sister put a dent in the family's thin bond. Ruth takes refuge in the woods with her aunt Sylvie and becomes more and more isolated..
3. Discovering Forrester (Gus Van Sant, 2000)
Yamal is a high school student who notices that in one of the buildings in his neighborhood there is a man who is always peeping through the window. Intrigued, he discovers that he is not just any person, but a famous writer who has ended up withdrawing from society and has not left his home for years. The talent of this writer has led him to have to take refuge in his own world out of fear. to take refuge in his world for fear of social criticism, the harassment of his fans and theThe fear of social criticism, the harassment of his fans and the fear that, if he does not satisfy his public, he will become a social pariah.
4. Elling (Petter Næss, 2001)
"Elling" is a Norwegian film that reflects very well the reflects very well the effort of its protagonist to overcome his fear of society..
Elling is a man who all his life has been overprotected by his mother who, being already older, decides to separate from her for a while and ends up sharing an apartment with Kjell Bjarme, a big guy obsessed with food and sex.
Elling and Kjell will establish a very interesting relationship, which will help them to insert themselves into society and develop as normal people. Although with touches of comedy, the film describes the story of two people with a strong fear of criticism, disapproval, extreme fear of being rejected or being embarrassed in public. In one way or another, the film manages to put us in their shoes, transmitting anxiety, fear of others and a sense of insecurity.
5. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet 2001)
"Amélie" is already a classic, and it may come as a surprise to learn that it describes the life of a person with social phobia. Indeed, Amélie (Audrey Tautou) meets the criteria of social anxiety. She wants to improve the lives of others, but instead of doing so assertively and telling them what she thinks or what they should do, she prefers to make small manipulations that affect her "victim" while she is at a safe distance. Throughout the film you can see her fear and desire to bond with a man.
6. Drunk in Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)
Among Adam Sandler's many "humor" movies there are some that are quite good and "Drunk in Love" is one of them. Playing Barry Egan, who is surely his best character, he presents us life with social phobia, a man with problems interacting with other people.. Barry has seven sisters who have not exactly treated him well. How does this affect a person with social phobia, does it increase or weaken it, does his fear of the world stem from his fear of family?
7. Crossroads (Tom McCarthy, 2003)
After the death of his boss, Finnbar McBride (Peter Dinklage) inherits a train station in rural New Jersey. Being short in stature has made Finnbar an emotionally isolated and cynical man. When he goes to the village he will be confronted by a society that will try to break his social barrier..
This film, which could well be considered a dramedy, shows how the cruelty of others can easily weaken people, and also how compassion and friendship can be truly powerful.
8. Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess, 2004)
Although the protagonist of this film, Napoleon (Jon Heder), is quite the weirdo, his best friend Deb (Tina Majorino) best represents the symptoms of social anxiety. Unlike his friend, who doesn't care what others say about him, she does care, a lot. Although interacting with strangers is a very hard pill to swallow, Deb has to bite the bullet and, in order to raise money for college, she goes door to door selling her services as a photographer.
9. Forget about me! (Michel Gondry, 2004)
A man named Joel (Jim Carrey) with social anxiety meets a woman named Clementine (Kate Winslet) who is just the opposite of him: fearless.What will happen between the two of them, will it be like putting oil and water together, two opposites that attract? Joel is presented as a hermit, not at all friendly with other people. Clementine, on the other hand, is a free spirit with colorful hair and a zest for life. Despite being like a very good couple, their interactions are rather awkward.
10. Lars and a Real Girl (Craig Gillespie, 2007)
Faced with situations of complete loneliness, human beings can withdraw into themselves, as this film demonstrates. Lars is a shy boy who lives with his brother and sister-in-law.
He is not very talkative and avoids contact with strangers at all costs, for fear of being judged in his own life.He is not very talkative and avoids contact with strangers at all costs, for fear of being judged in a terribly hostile world. She withdraws into her emotions, avoids having a conversation and does not express herself to anyone in the outside world.
One day he comes up with a fearless way to contact others: a blow-up doll named Bianca. He does not intend to use her for sexual purposes, but as the non-judgmental companion he craves, commissioning her to establish a relationship. From this delirium and alienation he extracts a new form of contact, of recognition and acceptance of his own concerns and emotions.
11. Eagle vs Shark (Taika Waititi, 2007)
Lily (Loren Horsley) has a social phobia, but she works in a fast food restaurant, which certainly doesn't help much.. She takes a liking to a nerd named Jarrod (Jemain Clement), and as the two get to know each other better and bond, they discover they have a penchant for video games and dressing up as predatory animals. This is a film of self-improvement and, at the same time, a demonstration of how rare human interactions are.
12. Mary and Max (Adam Elliot, 2009)
Warning: this film is murky. This plasticine and stop-motion animated film is about Mary and Max, a rather depressing and, at the same time, funny characters, who don't fit in a society where they are not very good.who don't fit into a shallow and elitist society. They live entrenched in lives that no one else seems to care about. Their fear of the outside world, seen as obscene and insecure, makes them more and more confined to their own selves.
13. The King's Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010)
Despite being only ten years old, "The King's Speech" has become a classic film. has become a classic of the seventh art.. If the fear of being judged by others as a normal person is already intense, it takes on real proportions (in both senses) when the person who suffers from it is none other than George VI of the United Kingdom.
With his self-esteem at rock bottom, the man who is still a prince feels that his stuttering prevents him from exercising the function for which he was born, to be the king that his nation needs at the dawn of World War II.
The character, played by Colin Firth, motivated by his wife Elizabeth (ACTRESS) seeks professional help and meets Lionel Logue, a speech therapist who will use very unorthodox techniques with the aristocrat. The film exposes the prince's initial frustration, his fear of making a fool of himself in public, but also his desire to improve, perseverance and overcoming adversity.
14. Anonymous Shy (Jean-Pierre Améris, 2010)
In a humorous tone, this French film tells us about the fear of feeling naked when faced with the possibility of establishing a relationship. The protagonists are not shy, but they are people who live in almost permanent tension. They find themselves in the middle between a desire to love, work, exist and, in short, be like normal people and something that always blocks them. They want to do many things, enjoy life and be happy, but they themselves and their irrational fear frustrate their plans.
15. Nerve (Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, 2016).
In this film, Josh (Tyler Langdon) constantly lives with anxiety.. This makes him live a life that is not life, so he decides to undergo an experimental therapy. There are two reasons why he does it: the first is that he really wants to get better, and the second is to try to get a more personal relationship with his coordinator Aurora (Laura Alexandra Ramos). Josh's symptoms are the living mirror of a person with social phobia, from feeling uncomfortable at parties to having panic attacks.
- Chambless, D. L.; Fydrich, T.; Rodebaugh, T. L. (2008). "Generalized social phobia and avoidant personality disorder: Meaningful distinction or useless duplication?". Depression and Anxiety. 25 (1): 8 - 19.
- American Psychiatric Association –APA- (2014). DSM-5. Manual diagnóstico y estadístico de los trastornos mentales. Madrid: Panamericana.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)