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There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (2011)

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7/10: Hard-hitting documentary about the horrific Taconic NY State Parkway car crash
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

There Is Something Wrong With Aunt Diane" (2011 release; 103 min.) is a documentary about the horrific Taconic NY State Parkway car crash that killed 8 people. As the movie opens, we are "July 26, 2009", and we see security footage of a minivan stopping at a gas station, with a woman getting out and wanting to by OTC medication but the gas station doesn't have any. We then hear frantic 911 calls where people report a minivan driving at high speed in the wrong direction on the Taconic State Parkway, and then crash, killing the woman and 4 small children in the minivan, and the three adults in the SUV it hit head-on. Five says after the accident, the Westchester authorities which have done an autopsy, state that the woman had the alcohol equivalent of 10 drinks in her body, as well as high levels of pot. The woman's surviving husband and sister-in-law immediately...

8/10: Most horrifying movie I've ever seen
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Be warned! This movie stuck with me for nearly a week. After it ended I was kind of in shock for the rest of the day. Many may have experienced a similar feeling after seeing Schindler's List, but even that movie contained more hope than this.This is one of the highest quality documentaries I've seen. Very well done. The suspense builds throughout as husband and sister-in-law battle to prove that Diane was not under the influence; that an autopsy stating the contrary had to be a mistake. The film never states this one way or the other, but by the end you will know. It doesn't even come close to preaching on this subject, but makes the point in an extremely powerful, yet subtle way.We first hear about the victims, and the accident, see and hear bits of the funerals. Then we hear the coroner's statement, and think, 'Oh, no, this couldn...

6/10: Disturbing and missing key elements
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

I watched this yesterday and thought it was compelling, but the more I have thought about it, the more I am convinced the husband is lying. Had he submitted to a polygraph, he'd have had more credibility. Yes, he could have been unaware of his wife's drinking since they worked different shifts, as an astute reviewer has noted. However, it is completely implausible that he and his wife had a pleasant morning and only consumed coffee before she got behind the wheel with 5 kids under 9 years old. They either smoked weed together, or he saw her do it, or they had a fight, or SOMETHING.Otherwise what was the point of all the interviews saying how great she was? Something happened to change that on that day. The immature (worthless, actually, once you learn he resents having a child left alive to care for) Daniel knows some things. I truly believe that he is lying about...

7/10: Paid price for husband/sister-in-law cooperation
Monday, August 19, 2019

I watched the documentary twice. It is very telling that the Hance's refused to participate. The main interviews are from the husband and sister-in-law. It seems they were handled with kid gloves in order to get their cooperation to do the show. They are both in severe denial about Diane and it takes an hour for them to admit she drank a little and smoked weed, a little. Too vague. Let's have some real questions to the husband. Marijuana was illegal back then so who did they buy it from and how often and how much did they spend on it ? Did hubby partake? He can't admit it or lose custody of his only child. So no decent interviews or lab tests on her hair for marijuana use. No collateral interviews from other relatives about partying, social events and drinking. Diane seemed to be controlling, Type A, wound tighter than a top, no sleep and...

7/10: Sometimes there is no satisfactory explanation
Friday, January 27, 2012

This documentary is about a tragic accident, and the quest to find a satisfactory explanation for that accident. What it reveals is the remarkable human capacity for self-deception and denial, especially when confronted with a reality that is too painful to accept.The Aunt Diane of the title, perhaps due to the pain of an abscessed tooth, uncharacteristically consumed a significant amount of alcohol and pot, leading to a horrendous accident that killed eight people, including herself. The documentary is about the difficulty her husband and sister-in-law have in accepting this reality.An otherwise nice and responsible person, possibly suffering intense pain, impulsively and uncharacteristically made a really stupid decision to self-medicate, and the result was multiple deaths.It really isn't fair, and I can understand why it is difficult for her family to accept. How can one dumb decision destroy so many lives? It is intensely frustrating and unsatisfying, but sometimes that's reality...

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