Blood & Circumstance (2014)

Blood & Circumstance posterAs I was looking for crime movies to watch, I stumbled upon this 2014 film on iFlix. Based on a 2006 novel by Frank Turner Hollon, the movie premiered in the 2014 Fairhope Film Festival. It also received the “Best of D.C.” award at the D.C. Independent Film Festival.

The story begins with Dr. Ellis Andrews living in a cheap apartment away from his family. The film reveals that his brother had died months before his self-imposed hiding. He comes out of his hiding after the court has requested him to do an evaluation. He has to check an inmate’s mental capacity.

Joel Stabler killed his younger brother Danny. Joel’s lawyer would like to determine two things. First is Joel’s sanity during the crime and second, if Joel is mentally competent to stand trial.

The narrative has full of inter-cuts between the present and the past. It shows how Joel’s father’s bouts of insanity has affected his mother and his younger siblings, Danny and Lisa. Joel’s memory had been of escaping from his father and protecting his siblings. He claimed that he took his brother’s life as an act of mercy killing.

The audience begins to ask who is telling the truth, who is insane, and who is escaping from the past. The film reminds me of Silence of the Lambs and Primal Fear.

The truth will set you free, they say. But what if the truth becomes twisted? Even without exploring Ellis’ backstory, one couldn’t help but think if he, too, committed the same crime as Joel’s.

If you had watched this film, let me know your opinion.