Synopsis by Mark Deming
A disturbed man looks back at his past as he faces an uncertain future in this dramatic short subject. Teresa (Molly Ringwald), a young journalist, is sent on assignment to a state-run mental hospital, where she is to interview Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton), soon to be released after spending 25 years in the facility. While Jerry Woolrich (Jefferson Mays), the hospital's administrator, isn't sure that it's a good idea for Karl to be questioned by a young woman, he allows a compromise -- Teresa will be permitted to hear Karl tell the story of how he came to be committed, but she can't ask him questions. Teresa is then ushered into a dimly lit room, where Karl relates the harrowing tale of his miserable childhood and how, at the age of 13, he killed his mother and her lover with a kaiser blade. Star and screenwriter Billy Bob Thornton and director George Hickenlooper originally produced this short film in hopes of expanding the story into a full-length feature; the award-winning Sling Blade followed three years later, but by that time, Thornton had opted to direct the film himself.
writer, interview, mental-patient, matricide