Adrian Grenier-produced doc spotlights Attachment Disorder
Actor Adrian Grenier and director Tiffany Sudela-Junker open up about their new documentary on Canada AM, Wednesday, May 2, 2012.
Constance Droganes, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, May 2, 2012 10:54AM EDT
In the new documentary, "My Name is Faith," director Tiffany Sudela-Junker and producer Adrian Grenier introduce moviegoers to a young girl named Faith.
On the surface, Faith seems like any other adorable 12-year-old girl.
But as audiences quickly learn, Faith suffers from Attachment Disorder -- an ailment that has rendered this child incapable of bonding with people or feeling empathy for them.
That emotional defect and its consequences for children and families captured the interest of "Entourage" star Grenier.
"These are things we want to avoid. We pretend they don't exist," Grenier said on Wednesday on CTV's Canada AM.
"We have to deal with them or they'll affect us -- and not in pretty ways," he said.
"My Name is Faith" gives moviegoers a chilling crash course on Attachment Disorder.
The ailment occurs when an infant does not bond properly with their mother, as was the case in Faith's troubled past.
Faith's birth mother was a drug addict.
The meth lab that passed for her home was volatile, and Faith and her younger brother slept within close proximity of a known sex offender.
"Faith would get into rages and go out of control. She was very violent. I knew we needed help," said Sedula-Junker, Faith's adoptive mother, on Wednesday on CTV's Canada AM.
Faith expresses those violent tendencies and her lack of remorse in this film, which makes its world premiere on May 2 at the 2012 Hot Docs Canadian International Festival in Toronto.
"I was jealous because my birth mother gave more attention to the cat than to me. So I put her kittens under the cushions and I killed them," Faith tells the camera.
Faith isn't the only child in this film who bears the scars of a tortured past.
In one cringe-worthy moment, Sedula-Junker turns the camera on another young girl who talks about wanting to kill her siblings. Her motivation, the child says, is that she does not want them around.
"Healing a child is a big accomplishment," said Sedula-Junker.
With the help of her husband, Jason Junker, the couple adopted Faith and her little brother after the children were removed from their home by Child Protective Services.
The couple faced unusual challenges in this adoption and in their efforts to rescue Faith from her disorder.
The family attended a camp run by therapist Nancy Thomas, a specialist who deals with children with intense behaviour challenges and psychiatric disorders.
Junker documents every slow, painful step the family goes through to rehabilitate Faith.
"Now Faith has a conscience. That was something she had to learn," said Sudela-Junker.
Today, Faith has her first friend. Sedula-Junker once believed that would never happen.
Faith also plays with other children on a team, a monumental breakthrough by Sedula-Junker's standards
"You have to have a conscience to be on a team," said Sedula-Junker.
"My Name is Faith" is no easy film to watch. But Faith's rehabilitation is compelling, according to Grenier.
"Who doesn't understand family struggle?" asked Grenier.
"Faith is a testament to how successful kids can be with the right love," he said.