D.A.P. is an Italian acronym that is used to indicate a disturbance of a psychological nature. In English, it translates to P.A.D., or panic anxiety disorder.
Italian Luca Angioli’s elegant short D.A.P. Inside Other Places accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do in its title: it lets us inside the mind of a man experiencing a panic attack.
The film opens with our unnamed man serenely staring at jellyfish while the gentle strains of Chopin’s Nocturne op.9, no. 2 play in the background. It soon becomes apparent, however, that this scenario has been constructed by the man to ward off more nightmarish scenes like the ones that are to come.
On its surface, the “plot” of D.A.P. seems average or ordinary. A man is waiting in a waiting room. Then, he is told he must wait longer. For someone with chronic anxiety, however, this situation is colored through a different lens. The man says in the beginning when he is at the aquarium that the room is a place where people wait, and that this place is the world. For people who suffer from chronic anxiety, everything is the world.
The man’s anxiety begins to intensify as little details in the room take on heightened sensitivity and meaning. The texting of a young girl, the ticking of the clock, the clutching of armrests. Then comes the moment when an attendant tells the man he must wait longer, triggering a full-blown panic attack.
There are times when film, as a medium, can communicate so effectively what it would be very difficult to do with words alone. This is one of them. The man’s panic attack is an accomplishment of sheer visual poetry. He imagines himself tied to a train track. He imagines car accidents. And yet somehow, he comes back to the jellyfish.
Luca Angioli is a talented filmmaker who has been one of our most enthusiastic supporters. We were very lucky to have shown his film, which so perfectly captures chronic everyday anxiety. Did we mention this was the U.S. premiere? “D.A.P. Inside Other Places” screened in the third shorts block on Sunday 10/13/19, from 7:00 to 7:40 p.m.