Dana Perry and her son, Evan, without death on their minds.
The boy with the thorn in his mind
By John Esther
You know you have a tearjerker on your hands when you hear sobbing sounds all around you at a press screening. Film critics and reviewers see a lot of films attempting to make you weep, very few succeed.
I am not saying I cried, too, during Dana and Hart Perry's documentary, although I came close, but, then again, I am not a parent. And how can a parent not weep at the fear of his or her own child taking his or her life after battling with bi-polar depression?
Less than 40 months ago, on October 2, 2005, Dana and Hart's oldest son together, Evan Scott Perry, jumped out of his New York bedroom window, plummeting down an air shaft to his immediate death. Evan was 15.
A boy in out of of instututions much of his life, Evan frequently thought about his own death, now his heartbroken parents think about it even more, with a mixture of disbelief and resignation.
Chronicling the tumultuous rise, fall and aftermath of Evan, his parents interview family, friends, doctors, teachers and others who knew Evan. At points insightful, this melancholy and infinitely sad story examines the devastation of bipolar depression and the brutal aftermath of teenage suicide.
While some during Sundance have cried "exploitation," especially with regard to the filming of Evan's funeral, which is about five to 10 minutes of the film, it perhaps says something more about their own insecurities as parents rather than the shortcomings of the obviously very loving Perry parents.