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From a broken home - his parents, Luc Lebeau and Sonia Leblanc, both with substance abuse issues and who are no longer together - and living within the foster care system, ten year old Tommy Leblanc is sent to Springboard, a juvenile detention and rehabilitation center, following what is only the latest troubling incident in his long troubled life. Each boy at Springboard is assigned an educator - Tommy's being Gilles Séguin - for dedicated attention. The strict rules at Springboard all revolve around respect for each other, the consequence of any contravention of the rules usually being revocation of any privileges, and being placed in isolation, that level of isolation based on the specifics of the incident. While many of the boys are disruptive forces either by choice or by other yet undiagnosed psychological issues, Tommy takes that disruption to a new high for Gilles and Springboard, Tommy who frequently throws tantrums often of a very violent nature. Those tantrums can be ...Written by
I work in the field, and have seen almost every dysfunctional, antisocial, nasty behavior shown here in the last month. And the children look so innocent! This film is based in French-Canadian part of Canada, and that surprised me as I've seen a limited number in French; Bach and Broccoli, Leolo, C'est pas moi mostly dealing with disturbed children. The story is predictable in outline, but breathtaking in the presentation. The kid is in the system, but you don't know for sure if it's nature or nurture. Just like in real life it's usually a combination of both; kids with attention and impulse control problems have a higher incidence of getting beaten by parents who had the same problems and were beaten themselves. Kids with mood disorders can be AWOL and raise hell one day, and be depressed and suicidal the next. Medication can help if done correctly, but with children it is tricky and sometimes does more harm than good. The psychiatrist in this film was poor. The building was poor. The supervision was awful. The Social Worker's only clue was to try and establish a positive relationship with the kid, and was at least helpful. While not an overly optimistic view of childcare it's at least realistic, and shows the limitations of we mere mortals. The two leads were more than adequate, and occasionally brilliant. This film should be required watching for anyone seeking employment with disturbed children.
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