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Walk Away Renee

Walk Away Renee

On DVD: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Walk Away Renee is an interesting film because it’s a documentary starring the director and his mother pieced together by archival family footage, a present day road trip, and snippets of life here and there that come together to form a coherent platform for various issues.

Director Jonathan Caouette finds himself on a road trip to move his mother from Texas to an assisted living home in New York. What we learn about his mother when the documentary begins is that she has a mental illness that is held together by a variety of medications and that the people prescribing the medication have no idea what their doing. Given the wrong medication and being overmedicated throws up red flags for Jonathan and he ultimately decides to remove her from her current environment to someplace better.

The film kicks into a barrage of cut scenes spliced with family home movies to even further bring you into the world of Jonathan and his mother and what kind of state their relationship is in. Obviously it’s a strained one, as so many would be when caring for a mentally ill person. You’re not a bad person for wanting a life of your own, but at the same time patience has its limits and we all make mistakes, being only human of course.

While I have no experience with the mentally ill I was able to connect with Jonathan’s story, which was really about love and how it perseveres through even the worst kind of scenario. Caouette simply splices together a great montage of moments, dashes of his own individual life in contrast with his life taking care of his mother, and creates a meaningful documentary film that acts as art with a coherent line of story that doesn’t always seem completely straight forward, but comes together in the end in a very human way. 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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