UnLonely Film Festival 6

Rat Tail

Rat Tail is a self-deprecating look at director Chad Sogas’ battle with depression using archival footage and ephemera from his past, focusing primarily on the rat tail he had for ten years that his parents still keep in the storage room of their basement.

Consider This

Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more. Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Share your thoughts in the comment section, below!

Meet the Filmmaker

What is their why?

“Rat Tail has been a personal journey of healing. Time and memory unraveling, exposing a more honest definition of who I am, surpassing the idiosyncratic idea of my rat tail and revealing it to be the physical manifestation of my flawed inner self. However, that was not the original concept.

The film started as a distraction from a screenplay I was struggling to write. I needed a new project I could finish quickly. A reset. Naturally the rat tail I had for ten years growing up that my parents still keep in their basement seemed the perfect subject. It was a quirky, relatable story about identity. Some quick interviews, childhood photos and rat tail wigs – it wrote itself.

At least I thought it did. I started the edit and immediately soundbites stuck out.

“You just needed someone else to express yourself through.”

“You were people-pleaser Chad.”

The fast, quirky film was resisting, compelling me to dig deeper, to explore aspects of myself I was not prepared to reveal. A year and a half later, Rat Tail has evolved from a superficial story about a hairstyle to a healing journey of unexpected self-discovery. The film finally found its identity, revealing my true self in the process. “

Chad Sogas is a filmmaker who has spent the past twenty years working in every facet of the industry, from pre-production to post. His films explore flawed characters searching for fulfillment, often set in heightened realities. They have screened internationally at Academy Award qualifying festivals such as DOC NYC, LA Shorts, HollyShorts, BendFilm, Bermuda, and Tirana, and have also been selected by Vimeo Staff Picks and Short of the Week. His latest short film, Rat Tail, premiered at Hot Docs 2021.

Website | Instagram

 

Join The Conversation

What “rat tails” in your past have you been able to let go of in order to move forward in your life?

6 Comments

  1. Melissa Martin

    Oh wow, you just described my life in a short while. I was that kid as well. And through years of therapy and inner child work, and the right meds, I am feeling better and stronger at 55 than I have in a long while. Lots of grief struck in 2020 with the loss of two loved ones, and I must say, I handled it pretty well. Thank you. This was eye opening!

    Reply
  2. Evelyn M Figueroa, LCSW-R

    As I watched your film I thought of the hundreds probably thousands of children and adolescents I had encountered in the 33 years of service in the department of education that talked about feeling so similar to you. Growing up is as individual as each persons finger prints, may look the same yet are very different. Good to see you worked through it and shared this with others.

    Reply
  3. Cybil Joy Pallugna-Saenz

    Considering the overlaying theme I truly enjoyed this film. I relate so much with this as I am also a creative and suffer from depression and anxiety. So much so that I let it debilitate me from doing anything but hide in my bed and blame it on a migraine which inevitably manifests. The production value and editing made this film entertaining and palatable. I did notice the anomaly in the footage, but I felt it gave the scene an otherworldly effect. Things like this has stopped me from completing a number of film projects that haven’t been seen, yet. I call myself a storyteller, but I have yet to tell one. This has given me inspiration to do so, but now i have to pick which one.

    Reply
  4. Margaret Rose Allen

    THANKYOU

    Reply
  5. Karen Wall

    It’s sad that something so seemingly insignificant as a rat tail can become so symbolically defining and so significant in the life of someone who is depressed. I enjoyed this and hope that Chad is doing well these days, as well as anyone who is living with not just depression, Bipolar Mood Disorder.

    Reply
  6. Bette

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply

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