Hot Docs 2017 Review: “Mommy Dead and Dearest” (2017) ★★★★★

After you learn the entire story told in Mommy Dead and Dearest, there will be only one question, I expect, to be asked by anyone who has common sense, and I am sure you have it too… If the mother was able to get away with the systematic abuse of her own daughter for decades, how could not even a single doctor recognize the fool game? How could they allow a little girl to go under so many surgeries in different times without even knowing what is the real cause of her so-called sicknesses?

Yes, you would say a murder is a murder, and that’s it. The girl must be sentenced to death. So now tell me, if the girl named Gypsy is a real criminal and her mother is a poor victim, so how is it possible that such a great and generous soul whose life was taken away by the boyfriend of her beloved daughter, deserved her ashes to be flushed down the toilet by her own father? I mean, he even refused to have it. He did not care if she died, and rather celebrate the actual fact of it. And then you go back to the story where you learn it, when you absorb it and have to carefully process it…

Processing it through all those doubts that you will have, heavy facts that will be weighed, trust me you will never regret saying that the system has been cracked; it has bigger issues than we could expect… and that now it’s not a cure for cancer we need to look for, but the cure for the entire system that was childish enough to overlook something bizarre like this. It all begins way before Gypsy was born; way before when she was unfortunate enough to be born as De De Blancharde’s daughter. Because from that moment on, the girl will never have her own life. Every aspect of her life will be controlled by her own mother… But wait until I move to the next part of it, because it’s not something you would take so easily…

Three months after Gypsy was born, her dearest mother became convinced that her daughter had sleep apnea, a dangerous disorder that would not allow Gypsy to breath while sleeping at night. After that, she got an even bigger list of diseases poor Gypsy apparently was sick with: a serious chromosomal defect, leukemia, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, severe asthma, eyes and ear problems. Medicated excessively and going through numerous surgeries, Gypsy was in a wheelchair since she was five years old. She was even able to survive cancer, can you believe it? And I am not even sarcastic here! Oh well, the whole problem was, Gypsy was not sick at all, not really… She was a classic case of a person who needed to escape the prison created by her own mother… Because since she was born, Gypsy would not be able to tell the difference between abuse and caring… and how could she?

The 33th, if we can call it that way, of unfortunate events that continues for Gypsy when she finds a boyfriend on an online dating website, who was a full package of everything every girl needed to stay away from… But again, with the life experience Gypsy had, how would she be able to tell that the guy she dates or plans to build a life is another character who will bring her even more troubles? As both embark themselves on a strange romance, the two decide to proceed with the plan of killing De De, I am sure, despite the crime itself, will find approval from a large number in the audience.

To conclude this review, which can be hardly considered that way, you might say there is no reason watching Erin Lee Carr’s movie as I have already said everything about it. But the truth is, here is a trick, I said only one percent of it, and there is 99% more to go, which you, my dear reader will have to find out. Eve though you might have heard a lot about this murder case, there is a pleasure guilt of viewing it. There is a feeling of anger you will experience and I really mean it. And the film itself is so great it will raise so many questions and applaud its outcome. Because this time, and only this time, the bad guy appeared in this movie was not bad at all. And don’t feel awful about finding yourself feeling the same way… because you won’t be alone… not at all.

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