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Alison and Parys    
       
 

Alison and Parys

This documentary continues and develops the story of Alison Lapper and her son Parys, two years after their captivating appearance in Bente Milton's Award winning documentary, Alison's Baby.

Duration :

45 mins (flexible)

Format :

Digital BetaCam

Director :

Bente Milton

Director of photography:

Moton Bruss

Editor:

Pernille Bech Christensen

Co-production :

Bech Film TV2/DANMARK

Production :

Milton Media

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The early mostly physical problems - how to change the diapers, how to breast feed, and how to cope with constant tiredness - have gradually given way to a new mix of difficulties.


Parys has grown up to be a very extrovert and assertive boy. He is now a walking and talking toddler, sweet and funny, but very hard to handle at times - and quite a challenge for a single mother without arms! Different nannies have been coming and going, and it is a constant struggle for Alison to organize the help she so desperately needs to take proper care of Parys. Moving to a bigger house has solved some of the practical problems, but it has also increased the size of the mortgage. Alison needs to work extra hard, producing Christmas cards for the Mouth and Foot painters organization, organizing workshops and giving lectures around the country and abroad. She is afraid of asking the local council for support, as she fears they might decide to take Parys away and place him in a foster home.

The constant presence of Parys in Alison's life has brought into focus uncomfortable feelings about her own childhood, spent in exile from her mother at "Chailey" Heritage" - a state institution for disabled children. Alison has lost contact with her mother but luckily she has close childhood friends to lean on. The disabled Olympic swimmer "Peter Hull", is like a dear brother to her. He and Alison used to sleep in the same cod at Chailey's, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Alison's life takes a dramatic turn in the area of personal relationships as a former boyfriend re-enters the stage. Mark first met Alison when she was four months pregnant with Parys. After years of hesitation he now feels ready to make a serious commitment - and he decides to move in with Alison. It is a wonderful time of hopes and dreams for the future. Mark is the love of Alison's life and the answer to all of her dreams. He and Parys seem to get on really well, and Alison is beginning to consider the possibility of having another baby…. But then the relationship starts to go wrong. Mark is suffering from occasional depressions and little by little he begins to lose his control and stability. As his condition gets worse, Mark becomes abusive of Alison, and he is no longer able to handle Parys, who has growing difficulties sharing his mothers love and attention. Gradually Alison realizes that her dreams are turning to dust. Mark has to move back to his own flat and Alison has to face life as a single mum once again. Alison's roller-coaster life reaches another low point, as the new au pair suddenly decides to leave, but then - in the midst of all that - a very special letter arrives from Buckingham Palace... Alison has been awarded an "M.B.E." - A very prestigious medal of honour - "For special service to the British Empire" - She forgets all her trouble and starts to look forward to the reception at the Palace, where she will be receiving the medal from the Queen herself!



 
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