Holding the Sun

Holding the Sun

Release date:

1999

Running time:

39.5 minutes

Formats:

Available on DVDAvailable on VHS

Closed Captioned:

No

Availability in North America:

Available in CanadaAvailable in the US

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  • Audience level:
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Holding the Sun is the story of a Canadian family's desparate attempt, over a two-year period, to save their son from schizophrenia. The story took an even more tragic turn when Aaron Millar killed his mother Ruth with a ceremonial sword that had been hanging in their living room. The shock and grief of the surviving Millar family forms the backdrop for this in-depth look at mental illness and its many forms of expressions such as hallucinations, depression, paranoia, isolation and general confusion.

Christine, Aaron's sister, narrates her family's story through her mother's letters. In these letters, Ruth Millar stated her profound helplessness with her son's illness and her frustration with a health care system that failed them both. In spite of numerous medical assessments and the diagnosis of schizophrenia, Aaron was never admitted to a psychiatric hospital where he might have received proper medical treatment.

Could this tragedy have been avoided? Aaron's family is convinced that education and increased awareness of mental illness and its various forms of expression are the key to avoid tragedies like Ruth Millar's death in the future.

Award(s): Chris Award, Columbus International Film and Video Festival.

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