Saturday, November 27, 2021

Actress Tasha Smith Examines Mental Dysfunction with Directorial Debut

*“When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story marks the feature-length directorial debut for Tasha Smith and stars Niatia “Lil’ Mama” Kirkland, Lance Gross, Tami Roman and guest stars Floyd Mayweather, Big Freedia and Lil Zane.

The story tells the tragic true story of Falicia Blakely, a teen mom from Atlanta who grows up in the fast-lane. When she becomes an exotic dancer, she attracts the attention of local pimp and predator, Dino. His empty promises of a life together turn Falicia into a pawn in his dangerous games, and she’s forced to prove her love for him at the expense of innocent lives.

According to one reviewer, “Blakely’s mental state deteriorates, quickly transitioning from a strong young woman to co-dependent abuse victim and eventually a woman that will prostitute herself, rob and even kill for the approval of her abusive boyfriend.”

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From left to right: When Love Kills Cast Tami Roman, Niatia ‘Lil’ Mama’ Kirkland, Lance Gross, and director Tasha Smith. (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez c/o TV One)

Mental health advocate and counselor Dr. Sheila D. Williams explains why pimps are able to gain mental control over prostitutes.

“It all depends on the severity of the situation, the past abuse or exposure and of course the woman’s mental capacity prior to being under the control of the man. Some women or even prostitutes are under the ‘control’ of a pimp but are able to handle the stress and abuse until they reach their breaking point or decide they’ve had enough of the life, money, etc. and they walk away and never look back,” she explained. “Others have endured trauma even before this situation and may not be able to walk away. The question is whether or not they are ‘healthy’ mentally or not. Just because a person is functioning outwardly doesn’t mean they are mentally healthy. They may be coping on the outside, but at any point, the past pain and abuse could resurface to cause a major breakdown.”

Dr. Williams urges viewers to examine their own relationships when watching the film.

“Just because your relationship may not have the same level of violence or abuse doesn’t mean you aren’t being manipulated or aren’t in an unhealthy situation. The best sign of a healthy mental state is a person that leaves an unhealthy situation at the first sign of dysfunction.”

“When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story” airs Monday, Aug. 28 at 9 EST on TV One.

 

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Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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