Angst Girl

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Kind Hearted Woman

on April 4, 2013

I watched a documentary on PBS Monday and Tuesday entitled “Kind Hearted Woman” which followed a Native American family for two years. The family consisted of the mother, a preteen girl, and a boy a couple years younger than the daughter. It was a particularly difficult time in their lives because the mother just got out of rehab for alcohol abuse and she was fighting her ex-husband for custody of the children.

The mother had suffered from sexual and physical abuse in her childhood and she was determined to get a degree in social work so that she could help families and children who are facing the same difficulties. It was a very difficult documentary to watch because she talked openly about her struggles. The worst part, however, was when the daughter told her mother that her father had touched her inappropriately. This was all caught on camera. First I thought she was such a strong girl to tell her mother with all the camera crew people in the room. Then I started getting angry that the mother even put her in that situation. Not that the mother could know what was going to happen in the future when she agreed to appear in the film, but couldn’t she have seen where the conversation was heading and kicked out the camera crew?

The more I think about the film, the more angry I get at the mother for putting the children through the added drama of a camera crew following them around. Their world was still spinning from being separated from their mother while she was in rehab. They were still trying to get used to the whole divorce situation. The mother had also been in a relationship with a man who had beat her and her daughter, especially, was traumatized by that. Why would it occur to you, with all this going on, to agree to let a documentary film crew follow you around for two years? It just seemed a cruel thing to do to your young children. To be fair, the children didn’t seem to be too fazed by the ever-present cameras but it still had to put some strange stress on them.

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