Just the Right Amount of Violence

Just the Right Amount of Violence‘ documents the occurrence of kids who are sent away by their parents to a facility/program that can (hopefully) straighten them up. It shows scenes of the ‘program’ waking up kids early in the morning (with their parents consent, of course) and taking them away – against their will – to a facility in Utah in hopes of reform.

Wait, that ‘footage’ — oh, actors. Yeah, the families didn’t want to be on film… Soooooo, I guess actors it is. The one interesting part was the interviews and stories told by the duos that would pick up these kids and take them away to Utah.

There’s also this underlying story about the director not having a good relationship with is father — which is awkwardly woven into the story.

It’s a bit of a mess, really. And the lack of access to the families/kids/etc really doesn’t make for a great documentary.

You can definitely skip ‘Just the Right Amount of Violence’ — 2/5 at Hot Docs in Toronto.

(side note: It was likely a good thing the filmmaker wasn’t at the Scotiabank Theatre 1pm showing on Saturday — there was little clapping at the end of the film, and a few people snuck out mid way.)

(This review originally written in May 2013)

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