Los Angeles, CA–Steve, a reader and a target parent of Parental Alienation, is a fan of the movie Jake’s Closet, which centers around a boy caught up in a Parental Alienation campaign. Steve writes:
Suspenseful, poignant, great photography and important. There is something lurking in Jake’s closet…..and something lurking in Jake’s six-year-old world view. You haven’t seen a movie like this. Guaranteed.
What do we call violation of a child’s love for their parent? What do we call a parent’s nuanced and chronic brainwashing of a child to hate the other parent?
Remarkably, we don’t even have a generally accepted name for this kind of child abuse! Parental Alienation is one name that is used.
Shelli Ryan wrote, directed and produced a movie about the evolution of a parental alienator. The Mom’s issues incrementally lead her to subtly and chronically seed attitudes that will undermine her son’s love for his Dad. She doesn’t see what she is doing–and neither does her six year old son.
Jake’s Closet was made on a shoe string budget and demonstrates that beautifully-crafted and hauntingly powerful cinematography comes from the soul.
The movie depicts the first months of a separation from the perspective of a boy. The incremental evolution of parental alienation is gently sculpted with an artist’s eye and chiseled within 3-D characters with 3-D lives. The Mom’s struggles become a magnet for a neighbor with her own issues and the young boy struggles with normal developmental issues as well as the divorce.
Jake’s Closet is important because it is the first depiction I’ve seen of the early evolution of child parental alienation. The viewer is left to extrapolate 1-3 years into the future, should the self sustaining dynamics continue.
In our society there is little to protect the child from this malignant dynamic, and the child’s resultant behavior is often misunderstood. Indeed, the parent victim is often viewed as the problem. Sadly, those parent victims who have seen their child’s love morph into hate know that nothing comes close to the pain of that journey.
Despite awards at film festivals, a theater distributor for Jake’s Closet could not be found. Perhaps there was fear of stirring feminist ire since the alienator happened to be a woman?
Thankfully, the DVD of Jake”s Closet is available nationwide in video stores and select retail outlets, and is available online at www.JakesClosetMovie.com. The DVD includes a brief documentary about parenting through divorce with noted expert Jayne Major, PhD as a bonus.