Do I Have to Kill My Child (1976)
Director – Donald Crombie
Writer – Anne Deveson, Donald Crombie
Starring – Willie Fennell, Brendon Lunney, Jacki Weaver
Review by Noel Baily
Searing human drama about a woman crying out for help in a domestic situation way beyond her control
This award-winning film depicts the plight of a young woman who takes out her frustrations on her baby, unable to cope with the rigors of motherhood.
Jacki Weaver is excellent as the woman cast adrift in a sea of complete desperation as she is presented with a third child she did not want (in too few years) and her resulting emotional breakdown sees her enter a new sphere of anxiety which culminates in her baby being bashed. Neither her husband, mother, neighbors or even clinic sister understand what is happening in their midst, until the baby is admitted to hospital with a fractured skull.
A serious and unpleasant social issue is deftly handled here and director Crombie has researched his subject well. Responsibly made and not far off essential viewing for prospective mothers, husbands, neighbors, clinic sisters etc.