That's really how it is!
Artist & Author | Near Mt. Baker, WA | 01/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To review this movie, I have to make a disclosure. When she was seven years old, a little girl I'll call "Sara" came to play with our kids; her mother was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. We told her that if her mom was off her medications and didn't fix any meal, "Sara" could come and eat with us. Eventually, she also had a bed at in our home, and until we attended her high school graduation she ate several meals a week with us and often slept at our home. She loved to celebrate Christmas with our family. "Sara" still considers herself (as do we) to be our fourth daughter. [Now, "Sara" is attending university and working to get a Ph.D. in one of the sciences!]
When we watched "Walter & Henry," it was with a lump in our throats. To put it simply, Henry was a boy version of "Sara." Both of them truly loved their parent, no matter how sick they became. Both, in very real ways, had to become the parent. Both also had family issues between the grandparent and the mentally ill parent. Both also did not have another parent to balance or compensate for the sick parent. Psychologically, Henry and "Sara" were also uncannily similar. The only thing I can conclude is that the writers of the movie must have had some real-life similar experience because they did a fantastic job of creating a realistic portrayal of a child's experience with a mentally ill parent.
Parents might wish to show this movie to any of their children who have a friend with a mentally ill parent, and then discuss how they should treat their friend. The only caveat I have about this movie is that sometimes the language is a bit coarse - maybe realistic, but I don't think it added anything to the story.
Only a person with a heart of stone would not appreciate this movie.