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Based on a true story. Liz Murray is a young girl who is taken care of by her loving, but drug-addicted parents. Liz becomes homeless at 15 and after a tragedy comes upon her, she begins her work to finish high school.
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Mary Kay Letourneau is a teacher, who is married and has children. She then has an affair with one of her students who is underaged. When she gets pregnant, she is charged with statutory rape. After pleading with the judge to give her a chance, she was instructed not to see the boy again, but when she not only disregards the instructions, she gets pregnant again. She is sent to prison. Written by
So the Marriage has NOW actually lasted 10 years in real life after her release from prison.
I was drawn to this by a news report of interviews between the actual couple involved.
The story seemed amazing - but true and fairly well represented in this drama.
I think it proves the old adage 'hard cases make bad laws'.
I also think that prison is rarely the best response to law breaking - although in this case it was probably necessary because of the the subsequent offending - though 7 weeks rather than 7 years might have been sufficient - as one who has worked with imprisoned people I know that usually longer detention achieves very little apart from keeping the convict out of circulation. About the only two justifications for continued imprisonment are that a person presents an immediate danger to others or their criminality is so prolific and out of control that incarceration is required.
However, she was diagnosed as mentally ill, which suggests to me the detention should have been in a hospital not a prison.
Another reviewer with some knowledge of Samoan customs has commented that Samoans have a different attitude to sexual relationships between younger males and older women to most Western cultures.. However, we are not told to what extent Vili was influenced by his Samoan ancestry and I am not sure whether the influence is consequential on conditioning and socialisation rather than psychological - so these remarks maybe irrelevant. It is many years since I studied - at a fairly basic level - sociology and anthropology but do recall Margaret Mead's works "Coming of Age in Samoa" (1928)and "Growing Up In New Guinea" (1930) were influential on both disciplines, but I cannot now recall the details.
The saddest aspect of all this is that the families involved have lived in the glare of publicity for many years now, which in itself can be a disabling factor.
Nonetheless, it is well worth viewing, especially if viewers can put their prejudices aside, whilst watching and view the Movie as a way of gaining greater insight into the complexity of human behaviours and relationships.
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