Other : St. Anne’s-Belfield
The Last Stop2017. USA. 111 min.
Director: Todd Nilssen Featuring: Liz Arnold, Peter Arnold, Daniel Bennison, Jeff Bloking, Alec Canarri.
The Élan School was a for-profit, residential behavior modification program and therapeutic boarding school located deep within the woods of Maine. Delinquent teenagers who failed to comply with other treatment programs were referred to the school as a last resort. Treatment entailed harsh discipline, surveillance, degradation, and downright abuse. Infractions of the rules result in humiliation. Attack therapy is conducted to break patients so they may be rebuilt. Years later, the patients who were institutionalized in this facility still carry the trauma they endured, with mixed opinions on the impact of their experience. The documentary serves as an expose on the troubled teen reform industry. Discussion with director Todd Nilssen and researcher Matt Hoffman, moderated by Randy Stith (Virginia Tech)