Sunday, January 18, 2009
We just saw your short film at Sundance today, and were rocked to the core. We adopted our son from a residential treatment center, and unfortunately lived much of what you showed in your film. The abuse, neglect and uncertainties in these kids lives, can build up to uncontrollable rages. We have had to do holding therapies with our son, my husband holding his torso, and me sitting on his legs. In final desperation, he would often spit at us. So that scene left me sobbing, it was kind of like re-living it.
Luckily, he was only eight at the time, we were able to stick it out with him until his rages subsided. He is 19 now, and a bonded member of our family. I don't think anyone ever "gets over" that kind of abuse, but he has learned healthier ways of dealing with it. It took about five years before he started to trust us, it is a long process. Hopefully now he won't feel that kind of suicidal despair you show in your film. At least he knows he has a home, unlike most of the 18 year-olds that get released from residentials.
Long story short, I think that most people act like the new guy, and can't believe those kind of atrocities really happen to children. Or the kind of atrocities they do to each other and themselves in response. More people need to have their eyes opened to the realities of abuse, broken families, foster care, and residential treatment.
Your film was the most honest and realistic portrayal of residential life for both the kids and the staff I have ever seen. It was touching, but short, sweet, and to the point. Amazing job! I hope it brings you much success. I was wondering if there is any way to purchase it on DVD? Please let me know as I would love to own a copy.
Lara from Wyoming
Thanks for taking this ride with me. We have three more screenings scattered throughout the week. I'll let you know how it goes.
-- Destin Cretton is a San Diego-based filmmaker whose short film Short Term 12 was selected to screen at this year's Sundance Film Festival . He will be guest blogging about his experiences there.