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The Elan School was the last stop. Set deep in the woods of Maine, Elan delivered controversial therapy to troubled teens. It was a meat grinder of raw emotion and harsh discipline. Some ... See full summary »

Director:

Todd Nilssen
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Liz Arnold Liz Arnold ... Herself
Peter Arnold Peter Arnold ... Himself
Daniel Bennison Daniel Bennison ... Himself
Jeff Bloking Jeff Bloking ... Himself
Kelsey Morgan Buono Kelsey Morgan Buono ... Elan Girl #1
Alec Canarri Alec Canarri ... Himself
Joe D'Ambrosi Joe D'Ambrosi ... Staff
Missy Esty Missy Esty ... Herself
Doug Hannah Doug Hannah ... Himself
Kevin Hicks Kevin Hicks ... Himself
Dave Hoffman Dave Hoffman ... Himself
Tracy Hutchinson Tracy Hutchinson ... Herself
Derek Loper Derek Loper ... Elan Boy #1
Julie Merar Julie Merar ... Herself
Peter Moore Peter Moore ... Himself
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Storyline

The Elan School was the last stop. Set deep in the woods of Maine, Elan delivered controversial therapy to troubled teens. It was a meat grinder of raw emotion and harsh discipline. Some say it sold hope; others say it sold Hell.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What do you do when a good kid goes bad?

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Official Sites:

Full Movie | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Island, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

The Outsider
Written by Jamie Ungar and Lee Christopher
Produced & Recorded by Sean Hurwitz at Mad Elephant Studios
Los Angeles, CA
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User Reviews

Balanced and well done!
10 December 2017 | by alovera-52003See all my reviews

The Last Stop highlights some of the inadequacies and lack of appropriate resources for troubled teens with a primary focus on what was Elan' in Poland Springs, Maine. Elan', was a controversial residential behavioral modification program for teens which was eventually closed, largely through the outcries from alumni carried over the internet. I lived in Elan' from 1983-1986, I was 13 ½ when I entered the program and this was the first time I've seen the facility since then.

I really appreciated the way The Last Stop was shot with aerial views of the wooded area around the Elan' campus in Poland Springs and the long road which lead onto the property and views of the lake. I remember walking down that road to go to school etc. The pictures of the students working, video shot of rooms from inside the houses, signs/LE's and audio footage truly helped to capture the way it felt to be there, especially when the experience of being there was new and overwhelming. The colorful drawings were also very relate-able, eerie and emotional.

I remembered hearing "ghost stories," about Parsonfield and it was exciting to see the actual place the stories came from and to hear first-hand accounts from people who lived there. I didn't actually know it was a real place, 100%. Also, the way TJ captured what I would call sensory overload was from my perspective wonderfully accurate, validating, and an important tool to paint the picture for others of what it could feel like there day to day. It's easy to understand how for some, the anxiety from that level of confrontation and negativity may have contributed to PTSD.

I've watched the film several times over the past few days, once with my (adult) child and my boyfriend. The opening scene of someone "getting their feelings off," allowed me to point out to my daughter that what she was watching was what I had to do to her Grandparents, after not seeing them for over a year, to ensure I would be able to spend time with them. I've told her this story before but in experiencing it through the film, she was shocked and after a couple questions she was also speechless.

My boyfriend commented that the movie solidified the stories I have told him in a way that was more understandable for him and he appreciated the way Joe Ricci's history was elaborated on. He'd had no idea who he was. For me, it was my first opportunity to share my experience with people I care about, (or really anyone,) in a tangible way they could identify with. What a gift to be able to share it! I didn't know I would ever be able to do that.

I especially appreciated the authenticity in the way living at Elan' and the program was portrayed throughout the movie and the fact that it wasn't exaggerated nor understated, (based on my personal experiences) and focused on the experiences and stories of the people who were interviewed, along with history, which I found interesting.

The Last Stop seemed to fairly share multiple points of view. There are always many sides which make up a story. The first time I watched The Last Stop I noticed that I was very distracted by the hope that it would be a balanced and authentic take on the program so that I could respect it, and for me it was.

The film introduces us to a handful of people who were failed by their experience at Elan' in that the individual experiences they described seemingly did not propel most of them onto a more positive path, offer them peace of mind, clarity, a stronger more positive sense of self, or increased self-love. One way a successful psychotherapy practice could be described is patients come (in need) and leave (improved). The therapist becomes obsolete as the patient accomplishes what they need to and the environment as well as the one to one exchange is safe. I walk away from the film with a sense of sadness and compassion in this regard.

At one point while watching the film my daughter commented, "most of the pictures show kids smiling and it looks like they are happy and then I'm listening to what the people they are interviewing say and I'm wondering why they are smiling?"

I told her that living there WAS often scary and it was scary in multiple ways and at the same time, it wasn't only bad. Just like any other situation in life, it was what you made it moment by moment. I told her that for each thing I can think of which may have contributed to my life negatively I could also see how the same thing also created a positive take away, just like flipping a coin.

Thank you TJ Nilssen and each person who was a part of making and contributing to this film !! I deeply appreciate your dedication to completing this project.


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