When Luisa returns from a psychiatric clinic after a bout with severe postpartum depression, she enters a new confinement in her dazzling home, surrounded by family members and a brigade of servants who expect her struggles to remain invisible.
“They say I tried to kill my baby. Do I seem ok to you?”
In the shadow of joy sometimes depression lurks.
Lo Invisible is the latest movie directed by Javier Andrade and the newest entry for Ecuador. Starring Anahi Hoeneisen, the film begins with Luisa being released from psychiatric care after three months of treatment from allegedly trying to harm her second child. She attempts to resume her life in her mansion, which is set in the stunning region of Puembo, surrounded by emerald mountains, the forest, and golf courses. The lights of Quito can always be seen in the distance from the stunning windows in the house.
Luisa puts on a bold front for her husband, her teenage son and her brigade of staff. She bravely has to endure endless conversations with guests at parties and lunches with friends. But underneath she is fragile, unstable, and detached. She screams in the shower when no one is around, she steps on broken glass repeatedly, she cuts herself repeatedly on her thighs and she becomes intoxicated frequently. Everyone around her continues with their work and lives, while she struggles to regain hers.
And every time you hear the baby crying in the distance there’s a sense of dread of what’s to come next.
Lo Invisible is extraordinary in its depiction of postpartum depression. And the film wouldn’t succeed without the stellar and impressive performance from Luisa, played by Anahi Hoeneisen, as there’s little conversation throughout the entire film. This sickness can affect anyone. Luisa is no different. She struggles to control her irritability and anger. Her hopelessness. And as her feelings of worthlessness, shame and recurrent thoughts of suicide increase, she begins to run more on the open roads of Puembo to distract herself. But as her mind slowly becomes darker, so does her jogging. She soon begins to wander deeper inside the woods, where all there is to see is fogginess and blackness. And as her runs become unseen from everyone on the outside, she likewise has ultimately become unnoticed by all her guests at her latest party. Her gradual descent into the horror of non-existence has begun. She has become invisible.