Boy Interrupted review

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On the night of Oct. 2, 2005, Hart and Dana Perry’s 15-year-old son Evan jumped to his death from his New York City bedroom window. This moving film is the story, told by his parents and others who knew him, of Evan’s life and death, and life-long struggle with bipolar disorder. In showing how one family deals with generations of loss and grief, the film is an attempt to defy the stigma related to mental illness and suicide.


Watching this, I’m reminded of all the same thoughts and problems that I shared with this kid, likely about 10 years before he did. I’m happy I came out on the other side without killing myself, but only by the grace of gord go I.

There’s a small amount of victim blaming going on here in the documentary, which is odd, as the parents are the ones that put the film together. They reference heavily the fact that they wallowed in reflection when an uncle killed himself, and then permitted the teenager to put on a play where he died from unspecified reason and everyone in the play stood around talking about how sad they were that the kid was dead and how much they all missed them.

The most painful part of this whole thing was that his suicide note seemed to actually make sense. I’m sure if he had shown it to anyone that had gone through puberty though they could have told him the answers to the questions that he had in his note, and could have assured him that most people go through those thoughts and there’s a resolution to them later down the road.

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    I hadn’t heard of this documentary until I read this post. I have a special interest in how film, whether it be in documentary or drama form, deals with mental illness, so I’ll definitely be giving this a look. Thanks for the review.