A couple of weeks ago I watched the movie Gone Baby Gone. If you can get past the f-bomb every other word, it's a pretty interesting film.
I have yet to read a Dennis Lehane novel (the source material for this movie), but I thought he was interesting when I heard him speak at BEA and I have an ARC of The Given Day that I really need to read.
Have you seen Gone Baby Gone? If you have any plans to watch it and don't want to be spoiled than you might want to skip this post. This is your warning.
In the movie Gone Baby Gone, a little girl goes missing. We quickly discover that her mother is not going to win mom-of-the-year anytime soon, as she's a junkie who frequently mistreats her little girl. Yet our private investigating heroes look relentlessly for her anyway until it all ends badly one night. They believe the girl to be dead despite not finding her body. Some times passes, some conversations take place, and eventually our main character discovers that the girl is in fact not dead, but has been kidnapped in an elaborate scheme by the (now retired) chief of police for her protection. Upon making this discovery he immediately wants to call the police. The girl looks happy and she is in a safe happy place far from the hellish place she was before. Yet, she is not with her mother. And there is no way Patrick can allow her to stay. His girlfriend begs not turn the chief of police in and let the girl stay safe, but he does anyway.
Whew, long explanation. But I wonder...what would you do? If faced with a child who had been living in near intolerable conditions who has suddenly found a new family who loves her, where she can run about in the country and where she is cherished...would you hesitate to call her back to a mother who can't be bothered and a life where she is little more than a nuisance? Patrick was unwavering and determined, but I think I would be torn and strongly conflicted.
I suppose this post will make more sense for those who have seen the film...but I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Ultimately, it's a question about the authority of law and is it okay at times to make your own decisions based on your moral convictions? Reach deep inside...what would you do?
I am submitting this post to Watercooler Wednesday. Check it out for more posts on art and culture.