In just over a week this film has received well over 250,000 views on Vimeo and Youtube, and seems to be going viral on Facebook right now. Nathanael Matanick, also known as "Heschle", has pulled together an incredibly emotional story to bring awareness to the importance of the foster program, and the need for quality foster parents. Please dedicate 13 minutes of your day to watch this straight through without interruption, and I suggest in full screen mode.
Here is a description of the film from Nathanael himself:
We made ReMoved with the desire that it would be used to serve in bringing awareness, encourage, and be useful in foster parent training, and raising up foster parents.
Originally created for the 168 Film Festival, ReMoved follows the emotional story through the eyes of a young girl taken from her home and placed into foster care.
After winning Best Film and Audience Choice at the 168 Film Festival, as well as winning Best Film at the Enfoque Film Festival and being an official selection at the Santa Barbara Independent Film Festival, we're extremely excited to share ReMoved online.
"It would be impossible to fully understand the life and emotions of a child going through the foster care system, but this short narrative film portrays that saga in a poetic light, with brushes of fear, anger, sadness, and a tiny bit of hope." -Santa Barbara Independent
This short film wouldn't be possible without the help of some of my incredible friends.
First, my wife, who schemed this project up with me, and was willing to do me the huge favor of writing and producing it. Without her partnership, this would not have happened, and definitely would not have been such a fun process. We were inspired to create this film while in foster parent training.
And then of course Tony Cruz. I asked him early on if he'd be willing to tackle this with me. I wasn't sure if I was really going to pursue it unless he said yes. He graciously agreed and was, to me, a huge source of confidence in knowing this project would turn out well. He and i discussed everything during the pre-production, and i counted on his creative mind to keep me on the right path. He even persuaded another key creative on the project, Greg Pickard, to join us. On Set Tony was my right hand man. On set, if I just wasn't feeling it, I had the trust in him to be able to just hand the scene off to him and know he would make it work. And he stepped in plenty of times when i just needed a break, or a separate perspective. Some of the best moments in the film are of his doing. Go check him out at www.tonycruz.co
We were very fortunate with Abby White, the young actress. Without her we wouldn't have a film.
Her parents were so amazing as well. I don't think they anticipated how much involvement it would take on their end, but they stuck with it the whole way. Abby's dad, Andy White from Good Times Guitar, even recorded Abby's Voice Over for us in his studio.
Beyond words. Amazing detail of emotions.
I shed a few manly tears
She was really amazing and it was beautifully filmed but when it was over my mind kept thinking about the black bin bag. She's an unhappy, depressed child not a hobo.
many many comments have been posted about the significance of the trash bag...a friend of mine who was yanked in and out of homes told of being moved without being able to pack any belongings, but if he did he had to grab whatever would fit in a trash bag. I think it's pretty brilliant that they thought of that.
Yes, the trash bag is indeed a sad reality.
I'm a foster parent, and when a child is removed from their home if they do not have a bag they are given two black trash bags for their belongings. This is a reality and a very sad one.
Amazing! Everything works really balanced!
Crusty Juggler66 - I am a foster parent and unfortunately the black bag is a reality. Many kids come into care and leave care with their belongings in a garbage bag. Many communities have programs where people can donate backpacks and duffle bags so this does not have to be the case.
My wife used to be a family case manager, and now she is a trainer for social workers. She said that they really stress to the case managers to prevent kids from loading up their belongings in trash bags. It makes the kids feel like their belongings are trash, and that makes them feel like trash, too. They really push case workers to grab a few donated back packs or duffel bags from the supply closet if they have to remove a child from a home.
The short made me and my wife cry. It was beautifully produced, very touching, and very realistic...except for the part where they separate the girl and her brother. It's not very common to split up siblings.
Actually the families I have met were all separated so it's not as common as you think to keep them together everywhere. A few even had some adopted and some sent back home depending on their age.
I am a social worker and refuse to move my kids in garbage bags! I pay out of my pocket and purchase a duffle bag or back pack for them!
That's very sweet of you - gives them a sense of belonging (at least they know how much you care about their well being) and love.
I've worked with these lost little ones, and the black trash bags are a painful reality all-too often. This is a powerful and enlightening film that I hope is shared in every preparation class to help potential foster parents better understand the foster care experience through the eyes of a child. Well done.
Beautiful portrayal of the inner life of these children. That young actress was amazing.
Finally watched this. Amazing!!
This is an amazing movie... Well done, beautiful!
I watched this very touching heartfelt story and cried
Frankly, I am no fan of these "touching" films. If this was a documentary, maybe I'd have watched it completely, but I don't need tear glands pushing films to know that a child needs parents that care about and love it...
I believe the problem is that many foster parents don't feel the same way as you, hence the purpose of the film.
Films are allowed to be films. And not all emotion is jerked.
Frankly I'm not a big fan of your comment. However, I do understand the Brechtian element that you are alluding to. Art, film and theatre have had and will have the power to change the world because whether you like it or not it sparked conversation. This artist obviously didn't use a documentary technique for a reason and you have to be intelligent enough to ask the hardest question-why? These visionaries collaborated to ignite awareness. Not by gauging weather you like it or not but rather used strategic planning to engage today's instant gratification audience (thus 12 mins)while using film as a medium. This short was not made for you to be a fan or it, this isn't football, it was made to create a glimpse into a world that is taboo, a world we don't see. There are many flaws in creating a concise documentary about abused children put through the foster care system. I'm sure you can imagine what they may be but if not I'm going to take the liberty to enlighten you on one very large reason. Abusers use secrets as a way to gain power. Why on earth would an abuser sign a consent form asking them to reveal intimate moments of terror, fear and power control with the world? This film is not perfect and neither is your argument. I will now step down from my soap box and take a humble bow.
Well said. I wonder Jan (who seems to recoil from touching works)...what has shut you down and made you believe that your intellect can fathom what a heart needs time to know?
I thought a little time about what I wrote and have to admit: In a cinema, where it would be screened, I could probably watch it. But on a computer I feel to busy and distracted to watch films where nothing really new happens...
Well said Charmee Taylor, well said. And frankly Jan I think you need a reality check.
I think it is funny and sad at the same time how folks get so wound up attacking people on the same team. My gosh can't some one have a different view anymore? Whats the bottom line- the kids! If people put as much time into fixing this as they do attacking people we could see and end to this in our lifetime.
I know too well, it never goes away. Cant say that Ive seen the system change much, lived in a home that fostered and was rewarded for fostering 30 years only to see the mother pick and choose who she liked and didn't like, she put on a pretty good show for everyone but was a different person behind closed doors. I even attended a fostering course only to see half of them ask questions about money. Id like to know when it becomes about the kids!!! everyone says it is and that things have changed but from all the kids ive seen come and go and die including my sisters not much has.
This was so incredibly powerful. Everything about it was done perfectly.
This film better show the rampant sexual abuse that is perpetrated on most if not all foster children. If not, then once again we are being fed half truths that distract people from the depth of what is truly going on. Did you know that it is extremely unlikely for a person who is physically abusing a child to not also be sexually abusing them? More of this is going to come to light as this sickness of humanity is exposed. Victims are waking up out of amnesia and memory repression more often and faster too now that our society has progressed to a point that there are more tools available and support systems in place to help victims recover from these hideous crimes. Please look into this. Specifically, have a look into the background behind the 'False Memory Association' or whatever it is called... there is a lot of evidence that shows the foundation was set up by pedophiles in high ranking societal positions who had a vested interest in discrediting the claims of victims. The rabbit hole goes a lot deeper...
Karen, I am a cps worker, and I can assure you that not all (or even most) children are sexually assaulted while in foster care. If you truly believe this to be true, then please back up your claim with evidence, and not just some blog post you read on the internet.
Steven, here's your evidence. Foster "Care" harms more children than it helps as does your work. http://www.mit.edu/~jjdoyle/doyle_fosterlt_march07_aer.pdf
Mhm. You're so right. In fact, the next time I'm sent out because some poor kid is living in a meth lab, or being molested and/or sexually exploited, or beat black and blue, or any othet number of horrors, I will turn a blind eye, because I would definitely harm the child, and am in no position to effect positive change. Thank you, Joe. I am sure that you are out there every day, trying to help and make a difference. The world is lucky to have you.
You asked for evidence, I gave you a scientific study that was done of 15,000 subjects over 12 years and 80% of "Care" alumni had dismal outcomes.
Every single event you mentioned involves a crime. You wouldn't even be involved in these cases. Police would arrest the parents and hand the children over to you. You wouldn't be allowed on a crime scene so don't talk crap.
I do it to get incompetent people struck off and charged with crimes. Just my way of protecting children.
You are 100% incorrect and obviously dont know anything about social work, the extent to which we work with police, and what happens when we arrive at a crime scene. I will read the paper you linked, but I'm done with this conversation.
Hey Joe, here take THIS ... it's a CLUE. You obviously don't have one!
You want evidence of what your intervention does, here you go.
Joe you need to think more clearly about these statistics. It's not necessarily the foster care system that did this, it's what happened to the kids before the foster care that most likely did this. The true test would be to take statistics of people who should've been removed, but weren't and then compare those to kids that were removed. Then you'd be closer to the truth.
I have done the research, 6 years of research. What you are suggesting is the good old "Let's blame the child for the position they find themselves in" routine we hear from social workers. If you listen to those lie long enough you might believe them.
If these children are so damaged by abuse and neglect, then why are their parents not in jail? Is child abuse and neglect a crime? The real truth is that the vast majority are not abused or neglected at home, the abuse is taking them into "Care". Children are twice as likely to suffer from PTSD as troops returning from Afghanistan and four times more severe. I have met toddlers that were in "Care" as babies and still wake up screaming that someone is going to take them away from their parents. I know a 6 year old who contemplated suicide in "Care" but didn't know how to do it. I know children who wrote letters to judges to go home but their social workers who lied and said the children were happy and healthy. PTSD is not a Mental Illness, it's a direct injury from the trauma of being removed from their parents and siblings. This is child abuse and a violation of the child's Human Rights, Art. 8 Right to a Family Life.
Do you think that the social workers don't lie to foster carers? the next time one lies to you and exaggerates abuse and neglect, ask them why they didn't phone Police and report the crime? In Ireland they claimed there were 541 "confirmed" cases of sexual abuse of children but the prosecutors only had 39 prosecutions the same year, mostly of historical cases from years ago. I advise parents if accused in court to demand the judge makes an order to have Police investigated and in every case the allegations were dropped.
I have met some very nice people who were foster carers, most do their best but refuse to believe that social workers take children for almost no reason. "Nice people" however is not the issue, neither is Best Interests, the question is whether the child benefits or suffers as a result and the Outcomes prove beyond all doubt.
If a judge says to a parent that the child will have a bad outcome with their parents, then why are children at far higher risk of abuse, suicide, sexual assault and poor outcomes? isn't "Care" supposed to be better? If a child is 6 times more likely to die and 10 times the risk of suicide in "Care", they wouldn't children be better at home with their parents or grandparents or aunts and uncles?
If you saw what goes on in these corrupt court, case conferences and assessments, if you saw judges shouting at social workers and quashing orders, If you saw the damage caused to these children and their parents then YOU'D be closer to the truth.
Read Joseph Doyle's study, you cant argue with that. Read this article to see how ridiculous the whole witch hunt has become.
False Memory Association of Australia, False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and False Memory Society have been battling an unfortunate string of False Memories related to sexual and ritual abuse that dates back to the 80s based on falsified claims fuelled by unlicensed psychologists, conservative church members, and an extremely vulnerable population of suppressed young mothers. The false claims have torn families apart and destroyed many person's lives. There is no evidence at all that there is rampant sexual abuse in or out of foster families. There is, on the contrary, a concerted effort by many professionals to support victim claims and to conduct thorough investigations when necessary. To disbelieve a victim's story is like a second blow as traumatic as the first, but to discredit the caregivers and family members who deal with a sea of emotion rendered through a variety of causes (from mental illness to abuse) is unconscionable. Your opinion is uninformed and no doubt based on a single case...
I was sexually abused by my birth father, as was my sister and any other girl that had been in contact with him. When my brother and I went into care (my sister was too old for care then), none of our foster parents assaulted us in any way. My brother and I were hurt very badly by our birth mother.
Deep, moves the heart, or leaves you thinking what's it got to do with me.
Thank you this is important for all of us to remember, we know it happens but need to see it every so often.
That little girl said everything I thought growing up...that I still think. You can't imagine how terrible it is as a child to know that the one person on the planet who is supposed to love you unconditionally doesn't, and that you have no one to count on but yourself. Don't make assumptions about a person, young or old, based on their behavior unless you know exactly where they've been.......
I have worked in child welfare for years. Honestly, the most damaging part to kids is that they believe on many, many levels they did something to cause a parent (or another adult) to abuse them. THIS IS NEVER THE CASE. It is never, never the child's fault. They are the child. Lost-- I would encourage you to use your voice to connect with others that have had the same experience. They need to hear from you. The most healing thing you can do for yourself is to give away what someone else did not have the strength or integrity to do. Use your pain to heal another's and ultimately your own. God Bless You.
As a child i went threw foster care . i had a few terrible foster parents but only one that understood and treated me right. alot only do it for the money. im so happy about the making of this film explaining how i felt feel now and expecially thankfull for the part when she says "its not my fault". there is no such thing as a bad child. thankyou Nathanael Matanick
Definitely hits the heart. I have only one wish...that a sequel is made to show the wear and tear of the constant sea of emotions. The caregiver needs respite too. Care for the caregiver...the film might be called "Respite."
Thank you for making this astounding film! are you selling copies of this film??? we would love to use it in New Zealand. Please let me know
Elaine, I would highly suggest you contact Nathanael through the links. Twitter may be the best way
As stereotypical as this example is, I absolutely agree with how the social system treats foster children... I dont agree with how foster parents are depicted in this video although it possibly is just for the purpose of making a point. Most foster parents(at least in Norway) are patient, understanding and are well aware of what it means to take in a child who has suffered abuse in the past.
I find it a little unfair to discredit Jan's experience as illegitimate, merely because s/he does not respond to the film as well as the majority of commentators.
My own opinion is that this is a beautifully shot movie that tackles an extremely important issue. If its form allows it to gain widespread attention and exposure, all the better. Yet, personally I also think that the voice over is abysmal and contrived. It simply does not seem to lend authentic words and thoughts to its main character; I barely made it through the (and let me state this again: otherwise beautiful and touching) film because of it.
So yes, maybe not every film is for everyone. And again, if this makes the life of only one foster child out there better (directly, or indirectly) than I am happy it was made. But to feel that movies do not need to emotionally jerk you around so blatantly in order to be powerful should be a position one can voice without being told to come down from their soap box or being in need of a reality check.