By michael • News • 2 Oct 2009

Boy Interrupted is a wrenching profile of a family torn apart. Dana and Hart Perry share the intensely personal story of every parent’s worst nightmare: the death of a child by suicide. As professional filmmakers, they were accustomed to making extensive personal films and videos of the family, but never suspected that their footage of son Evan – taken from the moment of his birth throughout childhood and adolescence – would end up becoming the primary source material for this moving account. Casual and innocuous before his death, the home movies provide a visual record of Evan’s life, and help create an intimate portrait of this vibrant, troubled young man, supplemented by interviews with family, friends, doctors and teachers.

Evan Perry’s life was marked by intense mood swings that alarmed both his parents, who were determined not to allow him to follow in the footsteps of his uncle Scott, who had committed suicide in 1971. Despite his family’s vigilance, along with a new school, new friends and numerous therapy sessions and medication, Evan’s obsession with ending his life proved overwhelming. His 2005 suicide sent his reeling parents looking for answers from experts, friends and family members, as well as from the reams of video they’d taken of Evan through the years. Boy Interrupted is a touching documentary showing that even the best defenses – love, vigilance and treatment – cannot always protect those most vulnerable from themselves.

Dana Perry is a noted documentary filmmaker who most recently executive produced the four-part documentary series “Sex: The Revolution.” With husband and partner Hart Perry, she previously produced and directed “The Drug Years” (2006), a four-hour documentary exploration of illicit drugs and popular culture. Nominated for two IDA Awards and a Prism Award, “The Drug Years” received a Cine Golden Eagle, Telly Award and High Times “Stony” Award, and was exhibited at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

Boy Interrupted was produced and directed by Dana Perry; director of photography, Hart Perry; edited by Geof Bartz, A.C.E.; music composed by Michael Bacon. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

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