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The Other Tom delicately tackles an issue that is usually painted in broad strokes. Elena (Julia Chavez) is a Latina single mother living with the aid of Social Services in El Paso, Texas.
Tom has behavioral issues and is stigmatized at school as a problem child. He is soon diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) leading to a strange accident that alerts Elena to the side effects of the drug.
When she decides to stop administering the medication to her son, Social Services threatens to take Tom away.
The movie takes on an important issue – there has been an increase in ADHD diagnoses and it has never been in the public conscious more – but it wants to do more than convey a message.
The Other Tom is a personal character driven story about a single mom trying to raise a child on her own. This is made abundantly clear throughout the film. From the subtle camera shots that convey isolation to the more straightforward comments made by those who want to “help” Elena, the audience is constantly being reminded that Elena seems to be dealing with everything without anyone else’s understanding or compassion.
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