Saturday, November 7, 2009

Billy the Kid, a film by Jennifer Venditti  See the trailer here!
"I know I'm unique, but I won't let it go to my head," says Billy, the subject of this 2007 documentary by Jennifer Venditti.   He has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, and the film follows him from home to school and into his first romance. 

Son 2 hated it, he thought the movie "sucked the soul out of him", meaning the boy and the exposing of his condition and his personal wishes and dreams.  Of course, he may have been referring to his own soul, as he quit the movie 2/3 the way through. 

It was great in that it was enlightening without being preachy or offering false hopes;  it was sad in that viewing it you realize he's not likely to achieve any of his dreams.  The film was honest, they didn't sugarcoat the condition. In fact, at times it was brutal in that it showed that he was angry, self-absorbed and unreasonable.  It seemed harsh that he opened his life to the camera and perpetua, could he have ever really consented to the invasion of his life?  This movie will follow him whether he likes it or not.  Will that be for the best?  Or will they film a sequel, showing him ten years from now?  That might work...

Significantly, no mention is made of the causes of Asperger's;  although Billy himself reveals a compulsion to tell everyone about the absence of his biological father.  Nurture vs. nature?  His mom seemed genuinely open and real, incredibly patient. 

It's a great film just to use to discuss how all of us have dreams and fears and misplaced hopes, and we all have situations to face that test us.  Great flick!

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