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“Far From the Tree”: A Powerful Film About Parenting and Identity

Sundance Selects and Participant Media present Far from the Tree: A Film by Rachel Dretzin. Opening in theaters and VOD July 20, 2018.

… The documentary, produced by Participant Media, is based on Solomon’s 2012 award-winning book … “The stories are examples of extreme family situations where parents have to be more self-sacrificing than usual, put their own expectations on hold, and come eventually to see their children as completely separate beings,” Solomon told Psychiatric News. “That’s essentially the story of every family though — being a parent is always a process of coming to embrace your child with whatever flaws or differences they have.”

A prolific writer and speaker who has presented at the APA Annual Meeting, Solomon is a clinical professor of psychology at Columbia University Medical Center.

… APA’s Council on Communications has endorsed the documentary. “The stories in the documentary version of Far From the Tree, like those in the book, carry a powerful message of resilience and affirmation,” said past APA President Carol Bernstein, M.D., chair of the council and a professor of psychiatry and neurology at NYU. “We endorsed the film because that message is one that patients with mental illness and those who care for them, as well as the general public, need to hear. Our patients and their families, like the families depicted in the movie, frequently struggle to overcome a painful sense of being different from others and of feeling ashamed of who they are. We urge patients, their families, and psychiatrists to see Far From the Tree. It is a moving testimony to the best of our humanity.”

Lloyd Sederer, M.D., vice chair of the council and the chief medical officer of the New York State Office of Mental Health, called it “one of the most beautiful films I have seen in a long time, and powerfully anti-stigmatizing.” He added, “This is a film about differences and how individuals and families discover their identity.”

(To read the full review, please visit Psychiatric News.)