Follows the story of the challenging relationship between Billie and her younger schizophrenic sister, Elizabeth Baby. After their mother dies, Billie takes responsibility by moving Baby in... See full summary »
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Peter von Bagh
Pertti Ylermi Lindgren,
Follows the story of the challenging relationship between Billie and her younger schizophrenic sister, Elizabeth Baby. After their mother dies, Billie takes responsibility by moving Baby in with her family, including her husband, their teenage son and young daughter. At first, Baby and the family work to adjust to their new living arrangement. However, after a disturbing incident involving her son and Baby, it becomes clear to Billie that she and her family are not equipped to handle Baby's illness, ultimately forcing her to make the difficult decision to do what's best for her sister and her family. Written by
My niece has schizophrenia and, at times, I felt like I was seeing her on my screen. The acting in this was perfect, from the flat affect when the medication is causing that sluggish, underwater feeling to the terror and confusion when a psychotic episode hits. My niece also sits and smokes during most of her days but we are thankful she is no longer tormented by voices or terrifying hallucinations.
Other fine points from the film are that Baby's mother was shown as caring and loving. The old, false, belief that schizophrenia is caused by bad parenting, or traumatic events, still lurks in some minds and it's good when a movie helps people learn that it is, in fact, a brain disease, like Alzheimers or Parkinsons and no one is to blame.
The well sister, Billie, is also realistically portrayed and points out the problems when young family members have to deal with the ill person.
My only wish would have been to place more emphasis on the costs. Medication can easily cost a thousand dollars per month and private residential care can be over $200,000 a year. Only the very wealthy can afford the nice ones.
This is a terrible disease, the number one disabler of young people and something that strikes the young and lasts for fifty years or more. That's a long time to be trapped in a nightmare, unsure about what is real and what isn't. We need to find a cure.
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