My confession for producing MY APOCALYPTIC THANKSGIVING the Movie
I confess that I’ve been struggling with writing this blog about my inspiration for MY APOCALYPTIC THANKSGIVING (MAT.) And I know some may ask why this would be the case since I’m Holly Soriano AKA “just the producer.”
Why the heck? Right?
It’s that this movie means so much to me on so many levels that all lead back to family and forgiveness.
So I decided to approach this like Enimem’s character at the end of 8 MILE:
I’m coming clean...
As you may recall from Richard’s inspiration post, he mentioned one of the guys asking after his mom was an inspiration for MAT. I’ve also faced this same question from our buddy. He may have special needs except he is cognizant enough to understand that his family doesn’t want to be a part of his life.
Other guys in our care also face this too. It’s truly heartbreaking for we can’t force their family members to be involved in their lives if that’s not what they want.
Sometimes these different guys act out in some pretty harsh ways to deal with their feelings. They do things like throw temper tantrums or others hurt people. It’s not unlike the teenage boy sex offenders, who I took care of prior to moving to Los Angeles. Some of those guys had special needs while others had mental illness and/or both. The thing that they share with many of our guys is that they had difficult family situations. They all also lack the skills to truly communicate their needs.
Why Visit There When You Can Move There?
And I can so relate to a tumultuous family situation and poor coping skills. My parents divorced when I was seven. As a result, I ended up moving between my parents and finally lived with my older sister my senior year of high school. We also had many rocky times throughout for a whole host of reasons. I also went to nine schools in different schools in a variety of states and cities within those states. In addition, I also faced a number of traumas. The result is I spent many years battling my emotional fallout for I didn’t believe people loved me based on these experiences.
Thoughts versus reality...
It was like there was this massive hole in my heart that couldn’t be filled no matter what people said or did. I’ll be honest that this tormented me for years and caused me act out in ways that make me now cringe. But the beautiful thing that came out of that all was that it helped me finally cut through my own bullshit to truly understand that I am loved so much by so many. Plus, I also came to understand that family means so much more than those with the same blood.
The thing is that these guys may never get those moments of reconciliation with their family. I hope for their sake they do for it would forever change them and allow them to soothe their heart ache. In the meantime, we will continue to take care of them and help them when their behaviors get the best out of them.
My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving the Movie...
So… How does this relate to “just yet another movie about special needs?” Our lead character Marcus screws up a lot in it while he looks for his long lost mom. Some of the ways that he behaves aren’t pretty. Many of the movies about special needs only focus on the positive aspects of people with special needs or ignoring their complexity. The media would also have you believe that we are to condemn him or medicate him to the gills in order to stop those undesirable behaviors. But that is setting a different standard for someone else than ourselves. It’s just that no one is perfect. I can only imagine how different our world would be if we choose to forgive and offer love instead. The world would be a radically different place.
I know that this seems rather ambitious for our movie. It’s okay with me for we don’t have to change the world for if we could reach even one person… That would be a delightful start.