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Review of "The Chumscrubber": A dark comedy about the serious consequences of an overmedicated society

Friday, August 25, 2006
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: prescription drugs, The Chumbscrubber, Hollywood movies


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This is a review of the movie "The Chumscrubber," which is an intriguing and artful look at important themes in modern society. It stars Jamie Bell, and a host of well-known actors such as Ralph Fiennes, Glenn Close and Carrie-Anne Moss. The movie certainly has no lack of solid acting talent. In fact, the whole production is played with great authenticity and depth. The movie dares to explore themes that make people uncomfortable in modern times.

One of the themes explored throughout the movie is the use of mind-altering prescription drugs, as well as psychiatric drugs and black market drugs. Throughout most of the movie, there's hardly a person who isn't on drugs at one time or another. In fact, the overmedication theme seems to be the foundation of reality for the characters in this film.

Speaking of reality, the film does a wonderful job exploring the nature of reality and the way our perception creates our own individual reality, as well as the realities of an entire community. The community in this film, for example, cannot believe the truth of what's happening around them, simply because they are living within their own filtered view of reality.

What are the possibilities of this set-up? How about a young teenage boy being kidnapped and not even being missed by his frantic mother for three days because she's so focused on her upcoming wedding that nothing else is a priority in her life. Or the teenage kidnapper, who wants to be an Air Force pilot someday, kidnapping a 13 year-old boy and holding him hostage in an effort to get his hands on drugs that were last seen in the hands of a friend who committed suicide?

As these events unfold in the film, none of the adults seem to recognize what's going on. In fact, the adults seem to be living in their own world, even while proclaiming statements to their children like, "We're here for you, and you can talk to us anytime."

Chumscrubber reflects the tragedy of modern society

The reason I'm so impressed by "The Chumscrubber" is because the actions and dialogue of the characters reflect a lot of what I see in society today. I see people who are overmedicated, lack clarity and can't really communicate on an authentic level. Just as reflected in the film, I see a lot of people projecting this false image that everything is okay. Internally, their world is really falling apart. It's a mess. They have serious emotional disorders that have yet to be expressed, much less actually healed.

I see the movie as a sadly accurate mirror of what's wrong with society today -- not only with parent-child communication, but also with mass overmedication and the fact that so many Americans have isolated themselves in their own busy lives without even taking the time to look at what's important or to express themselves in an authentic way.

Interestingly, one character in the film, the town mayor played by Ralph Fiennes, ultimately breaks through and expresses himself in an authentic way. He does this by waking up one morning and painting blue dolphins all over the inside of the house of his bride-to-be. She, of course, being an interior designer, promptly flips out. Rather than seeing the beauty of his expression, she works hard to cover up the dolphins before her guests arrive for the ceremonies.

The character played by Ralph Fiennes explains that his art is inspired by his desire to find "balance", which can be interpreted in many different ways. The term "balance" appears throughout the film, including in the dialogue of Dr. Bill Stifle, the father of the main character, who, throughout the movie, escalates the dosage of antidepressant drugs taken by his teenage son, describing them as something that will give him "balance" as well.

This father character, played by William Fichtner, is a portrait of a self-improvement guru psychiatrist-type with a fragile ego, who uses his own children to generate material for his best selling books. He even psychoanalyzes his son in his living room, taking notes for material to put in his next book. Of course, he's also dishing out medication to his children at every turn, stating that his colleagues at the hospital said all the medications were very effective and perfectly safe.

At the same time, the film demonstrates some of the negative side effects of taking these medications. It begins with a teenage suicide. Antidepressant drugs are now known to cause suicidal behavior and violent behavior, especially in teenage males. The movie "The Chumscrubber" accurately depicts how the side effects of these medications impact lives.

The suicide is not the only act of violence in the film, another teenage boy, as you'll recall, engages in kidnapping. One of his accomplices, near the end of the film, actually grabs a knife and tries to figure out how to stab the kidnapped 13-year-old boy in order to kill him quickly, so that they won't be found out as kidnappers. First he tries to strangle the boy, and after he finds out that strangulation will not kill him quickly, he proceeds to stab him in the torso, and then ask the boy he just stabbed, "Is it deep?" It's this kind of disconnection from reality that really characterizes "The Chumscrubber", which is being described by most reviewers as a dark, comedy.

I don't find it to be a comedy at all. Rather, I find it to be a smart exploration of the overmedicated society that now calls itself the United States of America. I think "The Chumscrubber" has great writing, outstanding photography, and authentic acting. It's certainly not an action-packed thriller, nor a mind-numbing entertainment film. Rather, it's a thoughtful film that is best viewed with a great degree of clarity. As you watch, remember that the self-absorbed lives portrayed in this film are not merely caricature; they reflect the realities of modern society.

Of course, actually understanding, "The Chumbscrubber" requires viewing it in a drug-free state of mind, which is all but impossible for half the American population. Many people won't get this film simply because they are literally living it out.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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