Recovery in the Media: #16. Nim’s Island

Nim's Island

Both light-hearted and inspiring, this movie offers a honest look at agoraphobia.

16. Nim’s Island

When I decided to watch this movie, I did not expect to relate to a character’s struggle with social anxiety.  However, I found that this movie had a fairly accurate and inspiration portrayal of agoraphobia.  Since many people deal with anxiety on different levels, this film can be helpful to watch.  Seeing it can help one to learn more about their own illness and that of others.

Synopsis:  Despite being stranded alone on an island, Nim and her father Jack live a happy life.  Imaginative and playful, Nim loves adventures and reads many books about Alex Rover, the world’s greatest explorer.  A scientist, Jack decides to go out to sea to study a unique plankton.  Somewhat reluctantly, he leaves his daughter alone with a radio for contact.  When they lose connection with each other, Nim begins to panic.  Hopeful, she contacts Alex Rover not knowing that the author is a woman with agoraphobia.  Will Alexandra be able to face her fears to help?  What will happen to Nim and her father?  When our heroes fail us, what do we do?

Recovery Pluses:  Throughout this film, there are many uplifting messages about heroes, strength, love, and family.  These alone make the movie fun and inspiring.  For this review, however, I am going to focus more on the aspects of this movie related to mental health.

Alex the author shakes with fear simply opening her front door.  Slowly, she gains courage to face her anxiety.  Instead of being held back back her struggle, Alex decides to do the right thing by helping others.

Now, this is a very important but difficult idea for people with mental health problems.  When are we letting our sickness hold us back and when are we knowing our breaking point?  Finding the line between the two can be difficult.  You want to not push yourself too far.  But then again, one needs to challenge themselves every day.

Although sensationalized a bit, this film portrayed this struggle in a honest light.  No, the choices that Alexandra makes are not easy but they are very wise looking into the future.  Is this movie’s depiction perfect?  No, but is intriguing and thought-provoking.

Cautions: Rated PG for some violence and language, this film is a family movie.  Thus, it is fairly tame with a little bit of action mostly having to do with Alex (the fictional character) or nature.  A very small amount of swear words might be sprinkled throughout as well.

Nim’s Island surprised me by having an agoraphobic character.  Alex struggles also to be the best version of herself.  Fear, worry, and past experience all hold her back.  Slowly, she gains the confidence to face her illness head on instead of running away.  Overall, this is not the most amazing film that I have ever seen.  However it gives viewers a glimpse of beautiful lives.  Anyone struggling with social anxiety to any extent can benefit from this film.

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4 thoughts on “Recovery in the Media: #16. Nim’s Island

  1. mudtherapist says:

    Loved that movie. good job writing about it from perspective of mental health!

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