Monday, August 03, 2009

Boy Interrupted

In her proposal for Boy Interrupted, Dana Perry writes :

We hope that this film will stand as a vibrant portrait of a wonderful, complicated young man - struggles and all - that will inform and enrich viewers with a clear-eyed look at the alarming reality of mental illness and suicide.

The film is everything the Perry wanted to it to be and more. We see the thin line that divides the normal and sane from its that which is not. A cute and precocious little boy can suddenly, unaccountably and uncontrollably go over to the dark side - a place that is as frightenening for him as it is for those who love him. This is the story of Evan Perry's short life. His family struggles to find him the help him needs to cope with his illness and Evan when his is bright, happy self even wants to help himself.

Yet, the struggle between the forces of light and darkness that are interwined inextricably in his life is unrelenting. The emotions that normal children feel become life-threatening when experienced by Evan - it is the mental equivalent of a severe phyiscal impairment. It is like Evan's brother Nick puts it - Evan lacked the emotional shock absorbers that most of us have.

In documenting their son's life and death, the Perrys make the remarkable sacrifice of reliving the pain and trauma they have suffered. They manage to draw the viewer completely into their world. If shared pain is pain divided, then hopefully it brings them the closure they must have sought is creating this film.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was deeply touched as I watched this film and am in awe of the remarkable courage it took the family to make it.I am a mother and cannot imagine the pain the parents felt. The far reaching effect this kind of raw honesty and love will have may never be fully revealed to the family.I feel that in that brief span I got to know their son or at least an essence of him. Greater than that,I witnessed the power of love to withstand anything and make the world a better place. - Thank you. - JoAnn