Besides an eye catchy title, Mommy Dead and Dearest is a documentary about a very recent and famous case. A troubling case, and just so we are clear, it is about Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome.
For those who haven’t heard about it yet, it is a problem with a parent or guardian, who will intentionally harm their child, or put the child in harms way, so that they can fix them and heal them. This is my own definition. It gives them a sense of belonging, and a sense of being needed and relied on by an individual.
And yeah, it is child abuse. It is rare, or at least it is rarely reported, but it is extremely serious. I reviewed a movie about it last year that I really loved, but the reveal of the cause is basically a spoiler, so that fucks up with me attempting to tell you about it.
Back to the real story, this is an extreme example of the syndrome. For decades it had been going on. DeeDee had her daughter, Gypsy Rose, in a wheel chair, concinving everyone she couldn’t walk, had cancers, and more. She was scamming her community for donations, help and more. They got some make a wish vacations too.
And then one morning, DeeDee was found murdered in her home with Gypsy Rose missing.
I don’t mean to joke about murdered people, but yeah, I can imagine all of that.
Oh shit, missing! With cryptic facebook posts! About rape and murder!
Long story short, yeah, Gypsy Rose’s secret online boyfriend did the murder, with her help. They were going to run away together, free from this prison she was in, but they both admitted to their crimes and now it is a weird situation. Can you murder someone if they have kept you as a prisoner for decades? Someone who has lied to doctors, filled you with pills, and made you lie for free stuff for most of your life?
Apparently not. But this documentary goes into DeeDee’s past, where the father was during all of this, public opinion throughout the trial, what the two did to hide their relationship, how it all went down and more. And also we get to hear a whole lot of the story from Gypsy Rose’s point of view. Her perception of reality is different than anyone else, as her normal involves an abusive mother who wouldn’t let her see the world, who wouldn’t let her use her legs.
This is the type of documentary that has you on the edge of your seat, especially if you are not familiar with the case. It is such an extreme act that one cannot fathom it happening so openly in society. It is a thriller in some regards as well.
This is a very great informative documentary on a very recent event. The biases are kept out, because story is told by those involved, not an outside narrator with an agenda. So sure, they have their own biases, but that is real life and acceptable.
4 out of 4.