Overview: BOY INTERRUPTED is a documentary about the suicide of fifteen year old Evan Perry. The teen came from a family with a history of mental illness; his uncle had committed suicide age 21. Evan had been diagnosed with depression and prescribed Prozac, then with bipolar depression and prescribed mood stabilizers. However, aged 15, he jumped to his death from his family’s apartment window. This film chronicles his journey as told via his parents, Hart and Dana Perry, both filmmakers.
Expectations: I actually remember somewhat of this documentary which I saw five years ago. Since it has not been given an HBOWatch review I decided to watch this encore presentation and get an article up about it. It is gut-wrenching I recall and quite saddening to see these parents document their son’s short life. It should move just about anyone I think. Instead of a trailer as an introduction here is a clip the Wall St. Journal had with Dana Perry about it.
Gut Reaction: This documentary is an amazing chronicling of Evan’s illness and his life. That is what stays with me the most. These parents, professional film makers, have incorporated a camera into their family life and thus via all this footage been able to tell us about Evan. Plus, the viewer is able to witness him first hand. That camera was at his birth, at his therapy and at his funeral. It makes it more of an impactful documentary than if the same few photographs were used over and over.
We have his words of using a rifle, we have the pictures of how we would hang himself, we have his self composed songs of death and his suicide note. It is all there. The majority of it doesn’t come until the last forty minutes of the piece making it the most difficult section to watch. But, as much as this film is about teen suicide it is also about mental illness. It talks about his mood swings, his bipolar depression and the Prozac and Lithium he took and how he coped in therapy and at school.
All of this is incredibly chronicled by two loving parents who, for the most part, were able to keep it together as they interviewed family, friends and professionals about their son. It is well crafted and quite meaningful.
In Conclusion: I’m glad I touched base with this documentary again.I had forgotten how well made it was and how effective it was in telling us about the horror of teen suicide. People have to cope with it and it is a shame. BOY INTERRUPTED is not a film to help anyone understand or get through the tragedy if they face it in life, but to say I understand because the Perry’s went through it as well. BOY INTERRUPTED can be found on HBOGo or purchased on Amazon.
Next Week: You are not going to believe the story behind this terrorist plot – THE NEWBURGH STING premiering Monday, 07.21 at 9:00pm ET