Film based on mental health in the Black community coming to Flint

FLINT, Michigan — Detroit-based producer and filmmaker Calvin Ray is bringing his new film, Listen to the Silence, to the city of Flint. “There’s an immediate reaction after the film,” said Ray. “This isn’t a film you just want to put on a big screen, show people, and people leave.” 

Listen to the Silence is a psychological thriller that aims to challenge your thinking. It explores the counseling dynamics and distinctive scenarios of individuals who chose to end their lives, ultimately ending the noise of the voices in their heads. The film deals with a set of characters who are being counseled by a therapist. Throughout their conversations, you see the mental breakdown of society and the culture right before your eyes.

Along with being a film director, Ray is also an ordained minister in the community, and the idea behind his film emerged from an encounter within the church. In 2018, there were three individuals he knew directly who died by suicide within a two-week time frame.

“One of the families asked me to do a eulogy and when they asked me to do the eulogy, they didn’t want me to talk about God. They were mad at God and couldn’t believe God would allow this to happen,” recalled Ray.
The psychological thriller “Listen to the Silence” is centered around the topic of mental health in the Black community.
After having more conversations with the family and digging deeper into the contexts of the Bible, Listen to the Silence came to life. The film was birthed out of a eulogy that was dealing with these individuals that were challenged in their faith, challenged by life, and trying to figure out where to go from their current state.

For the Black community, especially, Ray wants the uncomfortable conversations of mental health to begin. He believes there is a fallacy in his community that therapy, counseling, and simply having a conversation aren't needed. 

Every character that is in the movie is a part of Ray. As a pastor, he has struggled with things such as how many members he has and money to uphold the church. However, Ray is transparent when it comes to discussing the times he was at his lowest, when he contemplated suicide, and when he struggled mentally.

At the end of the film, a Q&A panel will be held where the audience is allowed to ask questions or resonate any thoughts. Trained therapists will also be present.

The film will be held just in time for the holidays on November 21 at the Flint Institute of Arts. Tickets are $20.

Ray is more than excited to bring this film to Flint, “My goal is to get people to start healing on so many different levels right here in my hometown.”

For more information on 'Listen to the Silence,' visit the film's website and follow Calvin Ray on Facebook and Instagram. You can also view the trailer for the film here.

Read more articles by Miriam Bingham.