Perfection (Michael's Story)

2016 • Short Film • Wrapped

At an early age Michael Rodriguez was diagnosed with high functioning autism (Asperger's Syndrome). Now a high school senior, he has distinguished himself as a brilliant, straight A student - seemingly destined for a great future. Everyone believes it, but him. He feels his life has never been his own. Despite his disability, Michael has always forced himself to maintain an extraordinary level of high achievement. It's as though he has only lived to meet the familial expectations instilled within him for as long as he can remember. When Michael receives a rejection letter from the university his father graduated from, he's devastated, and does not share the news with his parents. What's more he finds himself struggling with ongoing bullying, because his Asperger's clearly makes him stand out among the other students. When his backpack is forcibly taken by a group of bullies, it's ransacked and Michael's hidden rejection letter is discovered. The assailants snap a picture of it with his cellphone, and post the rejection notice on social media. Tormented by the ongoing cruelty and his shame, Michael's devastation devolves into an utter despondent depression. He decides to take his own life rather than bear the burden of more cruel derision. Near the end of the school day, Michael shares his plans, via text, with Sabrina, the only friend he knows he can trust. Sabrina races against time in a desperate effort to save Michael's life. In the end she's the only one that stands between Michael committing a fatal despondent act -or choosing to live, and accept the help of so many who love him.


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