Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Manual

The Manual begins in 1972, with Sonny, an 8-year-old boy, being sent away to a mental hospital for treatment of his possible "tendency" towards "homosexual mental disorder." (In 1972, homosexuality was still classified as a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, from which the film takes its name.) 24 years later, Sonny returns home to a funeral (his own?) to find that his young niece is being drugged for ADD because she has an invisible friend. It's an eloquent reminder of the dangers of accepting "authoritative" pronouncements about mental health, and the dangers of medicating children for their perceived problems. Definitely worth seeing.

The Manual, dir. Sophie Gregg, 2006 Australia, 16 min.

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part of the Kan-GAY-roo shorts program.

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