Breaking Point – After Marisol fled her homeland to free herself from the political and economic conflicts, she is courted by Santiago, a friendly Latino man with whom she has a lot in common. She accepts his marriage proposal in a short time, as his financial support is an answer to her prayers and has two children with her. Slowly over time, Marisol begins to be mistreated by his hands. He drinks a lot and keeps yelling at her and the children. After Santiago’s unpredictable and abusive behavior escalates, Marisol seeks intervention and plans an escape.
The short film Breaking Point offers an exhausting look at the many faces of abuse. The evil forces of being a prisoner in your own home can be seen here. Far beyond walking on eggshells around a capricious spouse, this short film shows the literal hell and fear imposed on the innocent due to an untreated mental illness. The daily tug-of-war between what appears to be love, followed by the subsequent wildly swinging pendulum in the opposite direction to mere terror, is obviously unbearable to experience. Even as a passive observer of such outside behavior as a movie viewer, fear hits the heart of a person who has not been exposed to this order of malice while understanding that it is there.
Mental health problems are widespread, a plague in our society, and can be as serious as any physical illness. If confirmed and addressed, there is help. If brushed aside or denied their existence, they can be fatal. It was encouraging to see that by the time Marisol’s character finally reached the issue of the safety of her and her children, he had the courage and will to face the problem with assertive determination.
Breaking Point was a roller coaster ride of emotions, full of tension and tears in the heart. In the end there was a good resolution and the viewer still has a lot to think about. The intended message was well conveyed. We need heightened awareness and safety nets for those affected by people who are fully functional in society’s daylight, but whose actions behind closed doors are utterly chaotic. If you or someone you know suffers from domestic violence, 24/7 support is available at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or at www.thehotline.org.
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