What People are Saying about the Film
On the surface, this movie is about Darrell Hammond's incredible courage in facing unspeakable childhood trauma and using the act of speaking the truth as an antidote to the silencing prison of trauma. On a more profound level, this movie is actually about the power of Darrell and Michelle's loving friendship with each other, the safety of which allows this story to be told in such a way that Michelle's camera acts as a loving, healing gaze, unflinching but with the greatest humanity and tenderness, holding Darrell with love and bearing witness to his truth. Many mental health professionals will learn more about listening deeply to another person’s truth with love and compassion through the way this story is told.
- Jacob Ham, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Director of the Center for Child Trauma and Resilience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Darrell Hammond had the guts to tell his story and expose his searing childhood trauma to the world. Michelle Esrick had the talents and fortitude to craft that story into a stunning documentary, one of the best I’ve ever seen. Cracked Up should be seen by anyone who’s been touched by adverse childhood experiences. That’s all of us.
-Jane Stevens, Founder of ACE’s Connection
"It’s a superb movie that tells it as it is, unflagging. The world desperately needs to see this movie. Almost every day I see more reports of misdiagnoses & psychiatric mismanagement that make me wonder if psychiatry, overall, may be doing more harm than good. You and Darrell have given us hope out of the darkness. Delighted to have played a walk-on role in your wonderful movie. Darrell is amazing - like so many survivors I know he has gone to hell and back many times, and in the process has developed astounding survival strategies.”
- Bessel van der Kolk M.D. Expert in childhood trauma and author of ‘The Body Keeps the Score’
"I was utterly transfixed! It is so powerful, so moving, so true, so so so important! it is such a powerful film about trauma and how lodged memories can destroy our lives and how deeply people need help to unravel these memories rather than be diagnosed with illnesses that end up keeping them drugged and numb. Much love and admiration."
— Eve Ensler, playwright, activist, founder of V-Day
“This is a masterful telling of an important story”
— Ram Dass, spiritual teacher
“Congratulations on an amazing piece of truly incredible filmmaking. It was riveting, deep, surprising, heart wrenching and beautifully realized. A very important and groundbreaking (to me) exploration of a topic too little excavated. And how brave and beautiful of Darrell to let his life and inner self be broken open for all to see. So original and so necessary.
— Bonnie Raitt, blues singer, musician, activist
“Michelle Esrick’s CRACKED UP is a profound and unflinching look at the extraordinary life of Darrell Hammond and the dark legacy of abuse he suffered as a child. It is also excellent filmmaking, delivering a highly emotional story with elegance, care and humor, thus keeping our hearts and minds open to the beauty of human resilience.
— Jamie Redford, filmmaker, "Resilience" and "Paper Tigers"
“Through Darrell Hammond’s courageous and riveting tale of trauma and recovery, Michelle Esrick illuminates the misunderstood tragedy of trauma vividly, sensitively, lovingly in her beautiful filmmaking."
— Trudy Goodman PH.D. in psychology, mindfulness teacher and founder of insight L.A.
“This is a brilliant documentary, just brilliant! I want Michelle Esrick to make my movie!”
— Jack Kornfield PH.D. in clinical psychology and International mediation teacher, best selling author