The Director of A Good Dream, Mahum Jamal, gave us her insight into the film.
I was always fascinated by the subject of disillusionment during my time at Columbia. I was drawn to books on the subject and films about hollow people who are lost in cities attempting to find themselves. Somewhere in the midst of existing nowhere and belonging to nothing, the characters in these stories connected with God.
I could relate to their stories. I wrote profusely about disillusionment in poetry; fabricating my own personal meaning in poetic verses. The experience of meaninglessness, Existentialism, was a way to discover my connection to God. In the midst of disillusionment, I began to see patterns and hidden truths. Yet, as a young person, still learning about myself, I was unaware of how to integrate these insights with my regular, tedious day-to-day experiences. Instead I was flung into the world of the insane and irrational, where I observed that spiritual insight and schizophrenic visions were one and the same thing. I met many interesting characters on this journey, like a good friend who would make birds appear out of nothing in the sky with his mind. He once demonstrated his skill to me, by pointing out of a hospital window — “That bird right there? I made that right now. I’m really good at seagulls.” And others who were on the brink of brilliance and insanity.
Uma is one of them, one of us. She is deeply psychic and connective. She reaches into the recesses of her mind as she mediates through her day-to-day life. When the uncanny opens up to her, however, Uma is ill-prepared to take on the burden of unreason. She cannot resolve the ennui of the everyday with the magnitude of the uncanny. She experiences a form of existential dread, a condition whereby she cannot intellectually comprehend the experiences she has, and therefore struggles to assemble meaning. A Good Dream is her story.