Saturday 7 October 2023

Movie review: Take Care of Maya, dir Henry Roosevelt (2023)

I’ve seen a few documentaries recently about abuse of children but ‘Take Care of Maya’ is the opposite, where parents have been abused by the legal system. It’s a tragic story but apparently quite common if you go by what the filmmakers have to say. Maya is a ten year old girl with a rare genetic disorder and when the pain prompts her parents to take her to hospital they are accused of abuse. The outcomes are just awful and illustrate how a few bad actors can poison the system for everyone. There are more stories like this and it makes me ashamed to be such a devotee of crime dramas. I think, “If this type of thing is happening what am I doing looking at shows where the police are the good guys?”

‘Take Care of Maya’ is a gentle story and not a blockbuster by any means. I came across it when I did a search for the word “docuseries” on Google; it was one of a number of programs listed in an internet story that came up in the search results. I went to Netflix and bookmarked many of them and so far all have been worthwhile. ‘Take Care of Maya’ is no exception, it reminded me of the false accusation shows I had been watching. I stopped watching them because it became too painful. Certainly ‘Take Care of Maya’ is painful. I guess the payoff comes where you think about the fact that, just by watching the program, you are somehow doing some good. If your completion of the movie encourages Netflix to sponsor another, similar program, then you’ve contributed in some small way toward a better world.

Because it is terrible if parents are penalised for just taking care of their children. In the case of Maya’s mother Beata, I think a contributing factor is the fact that she was born in Poland and so came to America after her base character had been formed. Her way of dealing with the crisis meant that she rubbed the authorities up the wrong way and perhaps there was a degree of racism involved on their part as well. I wonder. Certainly the relations between Maya’s parents and doctors soured quickly once the girl was in the hospital. I think that the whole story is ghastly, but what does it say about humanity if we deem such displays “watchable”?

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