A Discussion of the Portrayal of Antisocial Personality Disorder in the Film “Hollyweird”

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Running head: ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER AND HOLLYWEIRD

A Discussion of the Portrayal of Antisocial Personality Disorder in the Film “Hollyweird”

By adulthood, each of us has stood in judgment of a film at some point in our lives. We sometimes judge the quality of the acting, the cinematography, or the writing, taking note of the entertainment value of each. Within some movies, however, is what some would argue is a far more important aspect that deserves attention, that of the film’s content. When that content involves a psychological disorder, this attention often turns to scrutiny, leading to arguments about whether the portrayal of the disorder is accurate, and whether the public mind will be altered by its exposure to that portrayal. This paper will attempt to compare one such film, “Hollyweird,” and its presentation of the disorder Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) which, according to Bailey and Schultze (1999), is a psychological disorder characterized by a number of behavioral symptoms, including: a pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others; failure to conform to social norms; impulsivity or failure to plan ahead; irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults; reckless disregard for safety of self or others; consistent irresponsibility; and lack of remorse. In the film, the screenwriter Thomas Pillney finds that his 15-year old son, Bruce, exhibits several of the characteristics listed above. Not knowing what to make of his son’s bizarre behavior, Thomas does everything he can to deal with the situation. Research by Bernstein and Brase (2002) suggests that this is a common occurrence among parents of children with APD. Like Thomas, the parents in their research reported that they were bewildered by their children’s inability to grasp even the most basic concepts of “right and wrong.” In one scene, Bruce is seen hitting his younger sister repeatedly while...
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