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Ben X

Greg Timmermans, Laura Verlinden, Marijke Pinoy, Pol Goossen
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

High school student Ben talks about the monitor he wears: "My heart rate meter, for example, to keep track of my heart, as they say, for when I get nervous. Not that it makes me less nervous, but now I can see exactly how nervous I am." (0:06)

When tested, after concrete responses to the doctor's questions, Ben recites the entire eye chart from memory." Savant? (0:12)

Another student calls Ben "Retard." (0:13)

Teacher: "In fact, Jesus commits suicide." (0:15)

A psychiatrist tells Ben's mother he suffers from, "A light form of psychosis."
Another psychiatrist says he is "Just a bit stressed."
Ben wonders to himself "Who's mad and who isn't."
Ben: "Asperger's Syndrome."
Psychiatrist: "It's a form of autism."
Ben: "I've got autism, or autism has got me." (0:28)

Psychiatrist: "... Ben isn't feeble-minded... The question is, should we help him to dispel the illusion that he can live like a normal boy?" (0:30)

Ben's mother: "Autism." (0:31)

Bullies Bogaert and Desmet tell Ben "Let's exchange ideas."
"If you have any in that retarded head."
"Jesus, you're really nuts."
Bogaert: "Don't you mind being stalked, Benny-boy?" They force Ben to swallow a pill. (0:41)

Ben's father Bob: "I remember he once asked me 'How many reasons does someone need to commit suicide?'" (1:05) 

Ben: "Murder. The murder of myself... There is one advantage to killing yourself... The train does it for you." (1:06)

Ben's in-game friend Scarlite asks him, "You just throw yourself under a train?" (1:09)

Ben's mother shows policemen Ben's book entitled "101 Ways to Kill Yourself." (1:10)

Scarlite reviews ways Ben could kill himself, pointing out the pros and cons of each: "...poison... or you could hang yourself..." (1:14)

On a ship at sea Ben starts his video camera attached to a tripod, climbs over the rail, and lets himself drop. (1:19)

Television reporter: "... one Flemish youngster takes his or her life every week... 10% of Flemish youngsters between 15 and 18 say that they have attempted suicide at some point." (1:20)

Memorial service for Ben. (1:21)

In a home video Ben says, "I died of myself." (1:23)

Ben: "She called it... Suicide without the dying." (1:26)

Bob: "His autism is his problem, but it's not a problem to him." (1:27)

How could a family psychotherapist help Ben and his family? Was his gaming activity helpful or hurtful or some of each? Did his relationship with Scarlite reflect psychosis? Who might be helped by watching this film?