A Letter to Castille Landon, Writer and Director of “Fear of Rain”

A letter to writer and director Castille Landon and review of Fear of Rain.

This isn’t much of a review but more of a letter to the writer and director Castille Landon of the 2021 film “Fear of Rain”. If you’re reading this feel free to respond here or privately via email [email protected].

As I’ve said previously, I took a few books and movies out from my local library back in April of this year. I had been suffering from a severe case of writer’s block. I had only written 3 chapters of my book over the past 8 years. It took me 2 years to complete those chapters and then there was a complete block for 5 years. It wasn’t until I watched this movie in April that the writer’s block was gone and I could continue writing my book Trans Mongolian. In a matter of a few months I’ve been able to write another 3 chapters. I wanted to thank you for that and for making an incredible movie that hits home for someone that has schizophrenia.

“Fear of Rain” is based on a teenager whose lost her sense of reality. She’s diagnosed with schizophrenia and along the way she’s convinced herself that her neighbor and English teacher Ms. Dani McConnell has a child hidden in her house. Is the child really there? That’s what most people would question. But what I questioned most is how did Rain get to where she is today?

Early on when I was diagnosed I was asked several questions, given several explanations, led to believe in supernatural phenomenons that I didn’t believe myself, so on and so forth.

During one intake I was asked if I had any childhood trauma. At first I didn’t recall anything, but then, I realized when I was 8 years old I was visiting Pakistan during a very violent period for Karachi in the early 90’s. I explained to my psychiatrist, that I had seen two people beheaded outside of my house. My mother had covered my eyes when we came out of the cab, but it was too late for the images to be imbedded in my head. The police officer was holding one of the heads up for everyone to see. That sure was a traumatic image that I still cannot forget- yet that is something nobody talked about afterwards. It was something I had kept to myself for years.

A few years later, my father had passed away. I was 10 at the time and although I knew he had passed, nobody talked to me about it and nor did I talk to anyone, either. It was as if something happened but we weren’t supposed to talk about it. Everyone around me was talking about his death. Everyone but me.

Those were probably the only two traumatic events that I could think of in my childhood life, although I didn’t think of my father’s passing as traumatic. More tragic, as he was only 46 years old when he passed away. I still wonder if he was alive today how things would have been.

The event in Karachi when I was 8 was the one thing that the psychiatrist led me onto believe was the reason why I had schizophrenia. I questioned while watching the movie, was Rain affected by some kind of childhood trauma? Something that happened a few years earlier? I then thought about how real this was to me- to anyone with schizophrenia.

When rewatching the movie I was curious to think whoever wrote “Fear of Rain” must have had their own personal story with mental health issues or schizophrenia- maybe a parent or they themselves had it? I had to watch the special features that were on the bluray only to find that the writer/director wanted to open up a discussion on mental illness and that schizophrenia was the “most stigmatized” and “most money making” subject matter.

It often works in favor of the movie’s benefit the often cliches attached to those that have schizophrenia. Rain and I both have been alienated by close friends. I too can “hear” people around me talking about “that’s the crazy guy there”. As much as I don’t talk about it anymore, I wish that I could. But it’s better that I don’t-because then everyone thinks everything is perfectly fine. I don’t need unnecessary drama in my life. At least, until I go public.

“Fear of Rain” is a must watch. 10 out of 10 stars. I refuse to see any reviews for it as I feel they wouldn’t do justice for what it’s worth. After taking it out from the library back in April, I just rewatched it after buying the bluray on Amazon. It’s worth another rewatch with my wife if she allows herself to. The only thing I really want to know is what really is it that made you write and direct this film? It’s up to you if you want to answer the question.