It was a sudden date my husband and I had last Saturday. Little Dynamo was left with his part-time nanny.
Hubby brought me to watch a movie in Myeongdong. I wasn’t so optimistic with the movie as it was Angelina Jolie who lead the cast. Anyway, we watched “Changeling”.
I was silently crying at the end of the movie. I guess, as a mother it was a hearbreaking thought to have lost a son. Then strangers (the police) just push in to your face a boy who is supposed to be your son. Your mind and heart know he isn’t yours but the people around screams that “reality” into your face and tells you that you want to escape responsibility by denying that he isn’t yours. Oh… I’m getting ahead with the story.
Cristine Collins (played by Angelina Jolie) is a single working mother living alone with her 9-year old son, Walter. One particular day when she promised to watch a movie with Walter, she was called to work. She works as a supervisor and is due for promotion in the telephone company. She went home finding her son gone and was forced to wait until after the 24th hour when the police can eventually look into her case. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) which has a very diminished trust rating among its constituents had to force Christine Collins to accept a boy to be her son. Even with evidences to the contrary, the LAPD Captain was angered with Christine’s “disturbing behaviour” as she was trying to ask them for further help to locate her lost son. She was, according to the captain “escorted, not thrown” into the city’s mental hosptial. She was classified under “Code 12” together with the other women who made police work difficult for the LAPD.
I woudn’t want to imagine where or what would have become of Christine Collins if it was not because of the Prysbeterian minister who got her case into his church and his radio show. He saved her from further torture in the mental hospital and helped in securing legal aid.
The Chief of Police and the LAPD captain were eventually removed following the result of the trial. The “Chicken Coop Murders” in Wineville, California was discovered and Walter Collins was presumed one of the dead. Still, Christine never gave up hope of finding her son. Even in real life, Walter Collins was not known to have been seen alive.
Angelina Jolie is a very strong and emotionally controlled Christine Collins. I think I cried too much because I didn’t see her emotionally drained but I can feel her emotionally drained yet she has an eternally hopeful stance about finding her son. No one in the cinema immediately moved to go out after the movie has ended. I guess, like me, the others were also finding a way to dry their eyes discreetly.
Vulnerability of children is a very frightening thought and is an unchanged reality from 1928 (Walter Collins) and even more so at the present. The conflict in work schedule and motherhood knows no era. I wonder, how many times would it have played in Christine Collins’ mind if she had the capacity to refuse to report for work on that fateful day in 1928? Walter Collins would not have been gone. Ahhhh… the emotional struggles of women. This is one aspect which will never have a satisfying resolution… at the end of the day, any woman would have to choose which is more important… kudos to those who can have the best of both worlds.