Boy Interrupted

I watched Boy Interrupted on a lazy sunday afternoon last year.  I woke up to hear the HBO music playing, hoping it was The Hangover for the fifth consecutive time, however I was wrong.  Not knowing anything about the film, I was shocked to learn that it was a mother’s story about losing her teenage son to suicide.  Dana Perry, a New York filmmaker, produced this film as a way to heal from the loss of her son.  Having struggled with years of trouble and pain from her son’s battle with manic depression, Evan – her son – finally jumped out of his bedroom window after deciding to wean himself away from his prescribed dosage of lithium.

Had I known what I was about to watch, I probably would have changed the channel, but the slow development of the story not only hooked me into the film, but the way Perry created a relationship between her son and the audience through home movies and Evan’s own film work kept me glued to the screen, wondering what was going to happen next.

In working on a project dealing with five mothers who saw their children in varying degrees of trouble, I need to be more conscious of the relationship a mother has with her children.  Perry did a very good job of establishing a chronological timeline, but also made sure to insert her feelings and reactions to the conflict.  In dealing with a historical documentary, I know that I need to focus on fact and the cause and effect timeline, but I also need to ask more questions like, “How did it feel? What was your reaction?  What made you do that?”

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