Synopsis by Mark Deming
Hart Perry and Dana Perry are a couple with a background in documentary filmmaking (Hart is a cinematographer, Dana a producer and editor), and when they had a son, like many parents they spent a great deal of time recording their child's growth on film and videotape, albeit with higher-end equipment. But their son, Evan Perry, was different from most of his peers; Evan struggled with severe mood swings and emotional instability, and the couple struggled to help their child come to grips with an illness they did not fully understand (he was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder). Their efforts to help Evan came to a tragic conclusion when the boy committed suicide, jumping from the window of a skyscraper after leaving a note. Evan was only fifteen years old when he died. As Hart and Dana tried to come to terms with Evan's suicide, they decided to make a film in an effort to gain closure, and Dana began interviewing Evan's doctors, teachers, friends and family members as well as sorting through the hours of footage she had collected of her son. Boy Interrupted is the result, a powerful portrait of a family wrestling with loss and their unsuccessful battle to save their son. Boy Interrupted received its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.