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The disturbing and shocking truth of Postpartum Psychosis (CONTAINS SPOILERS)
on 6 July 2014
Ok first thing I can tell by looking at many of the other reviews of this film is people seem to have a problem with anyone under 16 being killed in a movie, but if your older than 16 its A-okay to be killed, sure whatever.
Cradle will Fall is a movie based on Andrea Yates, a lady who drowned her five children while suffering from postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis (a form of extreme psychosis that follows childbirth). Doctors warned her husband that she was suffering this condition but her husband ignored them stating that women who suffer postnatal depression/psychosis just need 'a swift kick in the pants'. The result of his ignorance is all of his children being drowned in a bathtub. She was originally sentanced to life but was retried in 2006 and accquited due to insanity (she was psychotic at the time) and thus sent to a mental health facility for treatment.
Now the actual movie is extremely good as it shows the gradual decline of the Mother's sanity and her decent into a mental breakdown, the camera work and soundtrack is so well done that you can start to feel like your being dragged down with her. Colleen Porch manages to portray her psychosis very authentically for example crying as she impales her daughter with a pitch fork and accusing her eldest son of trying to hurt her so much.
Despite the signs of the Mother's depression the Father, a long-distance trucker leaves her with a newborn and three other kids to cope on their farm in the middle of nowhere after only being home from his last job one day. At dinner she finally snaps and kills her baby and tries to kill her other children, constantly plagued by manic emotions. Her eldest son, Jimmy and sole survivor manages to keep her away until the Father gets home. Then the mother is institutionalized and several months later the Father announces to Jimmy that he wants his wife to come home so they can be a family and announces that she is pregnant much to his sons horror. The final scene shows the mother staring emptily into the distance humming 'rock-a-bye-baby' and stroking her baby bump.
Ultimately this is a very well made slasher film that raises awareness about a very serious mental condition. So before you chastise my support look at the greater picture: 1000s of mothers suffer with this condition though suicides and infaniticides are rare and with the right support and treatment many of them go on to be fantastic mothers and some go on to have more children but for those who don't know about it they can spiral into depression and psychosis and then be labled a 'bad mother' or an 'evil woman', when you are psychotic you aren't any of these things you've lost contact with reality and that can have dire and disturbing consequences.