America’s health care system is broken. The system that was put into place decades ago to help keep Americans healthy both in terms of their bodies and minds has continued to fail those same people time and again over the last half century. It has gone from a system established to help Americans to being nothing more than another business that is concerned more with its own bottom line than that of the people who pad the collective pockets of those within the system with their hard-earned money. Every year, any number of stories hit the headlines about doctors unnecessarily prescribing mood and mind altering drugs to patients, and of the typically negative consequences of those practices. Just as many stories come out regarding the failures of the country’s VA system in its failure to care for America’s men and women in uniform past and present. Now thanks to independent studio TDC Entertainment’s new documentary Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? audiences are getting a clearer than ever view of just how broken this country’s health system has proven to be. Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? is a damning indictment of American’s health care system. While the case of Alex Spourdalakis is just one of so many out there, his story alone is one that will make any viewer change the way that they look at the health care system forever. It is by itself more than enough reason to watch this DVD. The graphic illustrations and home videos that are used to advance the story drive home even harder the impact of Alex’s treatment (or rather, his mistreatment). They make Alex’s story all the more gripping and heartwrenching. As hard-hitting as Alex’s story is both by itself and with its graphic illustrations and videos, TDC Entertainment doesn’t leave audiences feeling empty. A short piece showing the successful work of The Autism Team (a.k.a. The A Team) on another young man is included as a bonus. It shows that for all of the darkness experienced by so many families, hope still exists. It is a fitting final statement from those behind the cameras, reminding families and audiences in general that where there’s a will there’s always a way. That reminder, set against Alex’s tragic, heart wrenching story, completes the presentation here, showing exactly why every parent should see this documentary at least once.
TDC Entertainment’s new documentary Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? is a rather aptly titled work. That’s because in watching the story, audiences will be left asking themselves who really did kill the teen. The evidence and confession by his own mother and godmother points the finger directly at them. However, a closer examination of Alex’s murder uncovers a story that leaves more questions than answers. Those questions make for a story that by itself is far well worth at least one watch. The revelations made throughout the program’s hour-plus run time show a story that is just as fitting on the likes of 48 Hours Investigates, 20/20, or Dateline as on its own DVD. It shows how a system that is supposed to care for people did anything but in the case of Alex Spourdalakis. Rather than examine him for any possible causes of his autism, audiences learn that doctors take the easy way out and continuously drug him up. Even worse, they ignore his mother when she tries to explain his allergies to certain drugs and even foods. The story that follows is one that can only be described as a downward spiral. It is a spiral that increasingly shows how the health care system failed him and in essence fails Americans every day. That is because so many like Alex are treated just as badly if not worse every day even though no one hears about it on the nightly news broadcasts. By the story’s end, any viewer with even half a heart will be left crying tears of sadness for Alex, and even for his mother believe it or not. They will also be left crying tears of anger at the negligence on the part of the hospitals charged with caring for Alex. It will leave any parent out there wanting to hold their child even closer and make them even more wary of the medical providers out there. That show’s the story’s power. And if for no other reason than its power and impact on audiences, it proves well worth at least one watch.
The story presented in Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? is a gripping piece that will move audiences to tears of both sadness and anger. It will keep audiences engaged from beginning to end. It proves in the end to be just as gripping as any of the stories presented on the major TV news magazines each week if not more so. As gripping as the story proves to be, it’s just one part of what makes this presentation so gripping. The graphic illustrations and companion videos used to advance the story add to its impact and drive home even harder the impact of the doctors’ treatment (or rather mistreatment) of Alex. Those behind the production superimposed a graphic of every pill used on Alex over a background of various pills. On the surface, it seems plain. but when examined on a deeper level, it drives home just how much Alex was being drugged up. One can’t help but be shocked at the doctors’ reliance on pills and their own declaration that Alex’s mother was wrong in claiming he was dangerously allergic to certain medications. Seeing the impact of the pills on Alex both physically and mentally is incredible in the most negative way possible. Why would the doctors want to just drug him up and ship him out rather than look into the potential causes of his problems? Anyone not left questioning this country’s health care system after seeing all of the pills he took and their effects on him (and later his own mother) is just plain blind. It’s shocking and disturbing all at once. And that is exactly what the program’s film makers were aiming for. To that extent, they achieved their goal even more with the use of the graphics and videos. They make even clearer and impactful the story presented at the heart of it all. Because they make so clear and hard-hitting, the graphic illustrations and companion video clips combine with the presentation’s story to make Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? even more worth the watch.
The story presented in Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? and the elements used to advance the story work together to make this production one of the most memorable and powerful from TDC entertainment in some time. It presents a message that while bleak on the surface, is meant more as an important warning to every American. It is a warning about the consequences of inaction by Americans to the negligence of the country’s health care system. It is a dire warning. As powerful as that warning is, TDC Entertainment offers audiences a gleam of hope thanks to one of its bonus features. The bonus featurette “A Success Story” tells the story of another child suffering from autism. The young boy in question got the help needed from people who looked beyond the standard examination of the health care system. The end result was a young man who still had autism but still turned out far better than Alex Spourdalakis. Again, it was because his parents didn’t rely solely on their nearest health care providers. It shows that while health care providers are professionals, they are not the final answer in every situation nor should they be considered that final answer. It outlines the positive results of people taking action and not just letting the nation’s health care system keep on the same path. It is a fitting final statement in this presentation showing that even in what seems like the bleakest of situations hope does and can exist and lives can be saved and made better. It all starts with reforming this country’s broken health care system.
Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? is a hard-hitting story. It is not the easiest presentation to watch by any means. But it does offer a glimmer of hope in its primary bonus featurette showing that change is possible. People just need to take action and make reform happen within the nation’s health care system. It shows the dire need for that reform through its central story and the story’s companion graphic illustrations and video elements. The final statement of another young autistic boy’s success shows the hope that is possible. It puts the exclamation mark on the statement of that needed reform. All three elements together show the reason to watch this documentary at least once. One watch is all it takes to change a person’s mind. It is a change that is needed and has been needed for a long time. Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? is available now on DVD. It can be ordered direct online at http://disinfo.com/product/killed-alex-spourdalakis/. More information on this and other titles from Disinformation and TDC Entertainment is available online at:
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