I just saw Alien Boy: The Death and Life of James Chasse at the Portland International Film Festival. I’m trying to process it…
The (Portland) police. Using force to interact with mental illness — the wrong tool for the job, but used with such zeal. The man that beat James to death has no apologies, and says he would do it again in similar circumstance. I want to look away from the screen, squirm in my seat as we watch humanity implode.
I don’t hate these men. They are mentally ill, just in a different way than James. Instead of schizophrenia, they are quick to anger, and brutality.
And yet here is a documentary film maker, and witnesses, and a weeping mother and father who won’t give up on the truth. This community that shines the light even when the institution shields itself and creates fantasy in place of reality. I am so thankful that there are some who don’t look away, who refuse to. These are the people that restore my faith in the potential good of humanity. They shine the light against all of that darkness.