by Martin Hafer
No Letting Go is obviously a labor of love. While the film is marvelously made, it just doesn’t seem like the most commercial of productions. Instead, it’s a film with a strong message and addresses a problem seldom talked about in movies…childhood mental illness.
When the film begins, Timothy is a 10 year-old who is starting to show some serious signs of anxiety–something you just wouldn’t expect in a kid his age. His parents take him to therapy but it doesn’t really seem to help. Then, the film jumps ahead to age 14. Now Timothy is not only anxious but seriously depressed… and with childhood depression comes a lot of other things, such as anger and unpredictability. The film not only focuses on Timothy but also on his family and how Timothy’s precarious mental state effects them all in different ways. His parents’ marriage is tense and difficult and his brothers obviously are affected as well. So is there any hope? Of course, as this a film about so much more than just a miserable family.
There is so much I love about this movie. The acting is very nice and most of the folks are faces you won’t recognize…which is a plus because this makes them seem like a very real family. The direction by Jonathan Bucari is just amazing and the writing by Bucari and Randy Silverman shows that they know a lot about mental illness and its treatment. Considering I am a trained psychotherapist and have had to deal with mental illness in my own family, I can clearly see that they sure did their research. As a result, they offer a film with many great things to offer…hope for families…awareness of how widespread these problems are…the way it affects friends and neighbors…as well as the ways depression come out in children and teens. All in all, a great message film which not only does a great and beneficial service but is also highly engaging. It also has been taking many awards in the film festival circuit…and justified as the film has so much to offer and is so original. Fortunately, this film will be making its debut in March–so you can see it without the need of going to a film festival!