Without Apology Documentary Analysis

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The secrecy surrounding mental illnesses not only in American history but in different parts of the world is depicted by the documentary Without Apology. This documentary manages to illustrate the sad truth of what life was like to have someone who suffered from a mental illness and how their families would place them in an institution. This film uncovers a taboo of history that had been buried for quite a while and states the medical theories that were used as a justification of the cognitive disability. For instance, this documentary focuses on the story of Alan, a boy who became a sudden secret when he was diagnosed with a severe stage of autism. As a young child, Alan had not done anything to indicate any kind of abnormality within himself, …show more content…
I was surprised to hear that mothers were blamed by doctors to have caused their children’s case of autism because supposedly the mother’s had a case of the “refrigerator mother syndrome.” This theory insinuated that because mothers were emotionally coldhearted, the child extracted autism from them. Doctors back then completely disregarded the fact that these mental illnesses were neurobiological and not a result of cold-heartedness. Furthermore, I was also disappointed to hear that Alan, who was not to blame for his mental disability, became something shameful to the family and he was basically erased after he had left home and became institutionalized. The fact that his parents negated him, and depending on who asked them how many kids they had, they thought to consider him. This was simply unbelievable. Once Alan was institutionalized, speaking about him was off limits. His mother would become upset when Alan’s name was mentioned. All of this was such a sad episode and it was unacceptable how many families went through the same situation. It was like having a mental disability was a sin and a disgrace to all. I was completely shocked to hear the father speaking throughout the film. When Alan’s father said that he goes to visit Alan because he feels obligated that it is his responsibility to do so basically implying that it is not because it grows out of love for his only son. This documentary illustrated how …show more content…
I was shocked to learn in greater detail how individuals with disabilities lacked the opportunities to participate in society and were discriminated against. However, it was gratifying to see that change took place; although, the change occurred at a very slow pace. At the end of the film, we were able to see how the Letchworth Village was shut down and to see the patients be given more freedom and empowerment. There was a gradual change that took place after all in an attempt to include and integrate those with mental disabilities into different aspects of

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