Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sometime we don't know, sometimes we close our eyes

Our attention was just called to a new Spanish movie called Tranquility Valley. It is a movie about a father and a son going through a difficult period in their relationship.

Feeling that the problems with the family dynamics has gotten out of hand, the father decide to enroll his son in an education center, where they teach the children to control themselves. The father doesn't know how it is done and as the movie continues we see some horror not very unlike what has happened in real life several places in even countries being a part of the modern western world.

You may as a parent ask. If I cannot control my child and he is outgrowing me in strength, then what would it take to control him. Can it be done without some violence? Can it be done preserving the dignity of the child?

We would like to believe so. Every parent loves their children but sometime we fool ourselves.

When the Danish Television channel DR sent a documentary about children placed at Schuberts Minde many viewers didn't like what they saw. They didn't like that the staff told a child that he had to give up earrings given as a very personal gift from one of his parents. They didn't like that the staff didn't allow the child to wear clothes seen on a normal street in Denmark. The poor child lost out both his history and the identity he had built for his entire life. What the viewers failed to realize was that removing personal items and clothes is a important step to break down the spirit of a person you are about to confine in a strict and very regulated environment. Some places they dont stop with the clothes and jewelries. They remove the hair also in order to erase the identity further.

The drama in the Danish facility is far from what is to be seen in the movie but the emotional suffering is not. The real question is what institutionalized children carry with them once they are returning to freedom. The experience we have learned so far is not promising.
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