In Cracked Up, director Michelle Esrick’s Award-winning documentary, we witness the impact that childhood trauma can have across a lifetime through the incredibly courageous and personal story of comedian, actor and Saturday Night Live legend Darrell Hammond. Renowned for his impressions of Bill Clinton, Sean Connery and hundreds more, Hammond wowed SNL audiences for a record-breaking 14 seasons. Although Hammond performed brilliantly on live TV, behind the scenes he suffered from debilitating flashbacks, self-injury and addictions, symptoms which were misdiagnosed by over 40 doctors as mental illnesses, including: multiple personality disorder, manic depression and schizophrenia. Not until a suicide attempt that brought Hammond together with Dr. Nabil Kotbi, was he properly diagnosed and treated, unleashing the memories his brain had locked away for over 50 years.
Esrick, gracefully weaves together comedy and tragedy, helping us to understand the biological effects of childhood trauma in a new light. Breaking down barriers of stigma and replacing shame with compassion and hope, Cracked Up reveals what is possible when science meets the human spirit.
Cracked Up is a rallying cry to be part a movement that is transforming our communities one by one to become trauma informed.