Take Care of Maya: Documentary Review

Take Care of Maya Documentary Review: Reality Bites

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Be prepared. "Take Care of Maya" is one harrowing and brutal documentary that shows the reality that not everyone, hard as they try, will never have an idyllic tale, journey, and end to their struggles. This documentary was disturbing as it detailed with little or no restraint the constant abuse that the Kowalskis had to endure - and not really for those faint of heart.

When Maya Kowalski was admitted to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in 2016, nothing could have prepared her or her family for what they were about to go through. The nine year old, suffering from a rare medical disease, was taking special medication to manage her condition. But the medical team instead questioned her mother's mental condition. Deeming her as a possible case of Munchausen by proxy, Maya was taken by state custody and kept away from her parents for months on end - until a tragic end forces the family to fight the hospital and state head on - unveiling that the abuse that they found themselves in is not an isolated case across America.

We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to take a gamble with "Take Care of Maya" - a Netflix release that flew under our radar. What we got was both an intriguing, thought-provoking but an extremely heavy tale of medical abuse. If you're willing to get yourself into a huge emotional downer in exchange for a gripping documentary, then you should take a gamble on "Take Care of Maya". Most striking for us was its use of real-life recordings of calls, messages, and court hearing footage that added a lot of authenticity - even if some of these were disturbingly unhinged. Some standouts were a particular 911 call and Maya's own testimony on how she felt about hospitals. You just don't get this raw and unrestrained footage in most documentaries nowadays. For us though, we felt that this needed some more meat in terms of the case and in terms of featuring the family as a whole especially Maya's brother Kyle who has the same struggles as her and her dad. Sad to say, this documentary isn't really a complete story yet. The Kowalskis are still fighting their oppressors to this day so be warned if you expect a conclusion as well. 

Rating: 4 reels

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