A father seeks a reunion with his son in the new drama “Let Me Have My Son,” now available as a Virtual Cinema Event from Messenger Films/Ocean Avenue Entertainment. The film, inspired by a true story, was created by Writer/Director Cristóbal Krusen. The film features Ben Whitmore, Sr. (Krusen) as he travels to Middlemouth Security Hospital when he’s notified his son Benny (Nathan Barlow) has recovered from schizophrenia. Instead of bringing Benny home, however, Ben Sr. discovers that he has disappeared, triggering the father’s increasingly desperate search for answers.
Krusen, who drew from his own relationship with his son for the story, frames the narrative as the father’s story more than the son’s.
“There’s a prologue at the beginning that kind of sums it up for me, are you hear the father narrating and saying, ‘Can I tell you the story of my son?’,” he said. “’Well, more to the point, perhaps the story of his father. A good bit of what you’re about to see is true. As it happens. More is true, however, as it felt, and more than that is true I suppose of how it will be.’ And so, I wanted to be in that space where I could take artistic license.”
The events are portrayed but, according to Krusen, they are often portrayed according to the father’s feeling and the imagination of someone whose life has been “turned upside down.”
“Some of the characters are a bit bizarre,” he said. “Things don’t add up or make sense. But that’s how the father feels. That’s what it can be like to go through severe mental illness when someone you love, when their world is upside down, in many ways, and for you to be with them in that journey.”
The film’s release has a unique “convergence,” coming out around the time that Krusen’s son is being released from a hospital he’s been at for 12 years.
“He’s been doing much better these last couple of years, so the convergence of it all has been really remarkable,” he said.
The film spotlights the individual crisis that Krusen navigated in his own life, but the writer-director is quick to point out that “this could happen to anyone.” He feels that every person should take stock of their own mental health as they would their physical health.
“Many people suffer in silence because of the stigma attached to it,” he said. “But just as our Lord showed compassion to the outcasts of His day, the mentally ill are now like the outcasts of our day. We’re afraid, at times, for our physical safety, but look at Jesus and how He reacted with the lepers. He went right up to the leper and at least touched him if not hugged him.”
“Let Me Have My Son” is now showing as a Virtual Cinema Event. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.