Out on Video on Demand from writer/director Todd Newman and Vega Baby Releasing is a documentary that gives the audience a peek into the life of a surviving “Mourning Son.”
The documentary tells the story in the young life of rocker Dave Navarro. What many, including myself, did not know was that Navarro’s mother was brutally murdered when he was a very young man. In this telling, Navarro recounts not only that traumatic event but how it impacted his life.
Navarro invites everyone to experience a moment in time that continued to follow him through every phase of his life. From young adult years to his time with band Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers, there was a pain that could not be described and a void the lack of understanding provided.
I cannot even begin to explain what a shock the entire documentary was to me. It is difficult to speak on hard events of childhood as it is. Navarro gives a loving and amazing narrative about life with his mother Connie. Her zest for life, her days as a model, and marriage to Navarro’s father, he was encouraged to be himself.
That all ended in 1983 when boyfriend John Riccardi decided to end his mother’s life. There would be no time to grieve because the killer managed to escape police and now fear became his life guide.
Coming face to face with the evil that is murderer Riccardi while in prison, proved to be the most painful thing to watch Navarro go through. The kid wanted answers as to why but the adult knew those answers would never come. His reaction is powerful and heartbreaking at the same time.
The documentary begins rather odd but trust me when I tell you every frame has meaning, every frame is part of the story Navarro is trying to tell and every frame is deeply moving. From beginning to end it is clear that the path this talented human being has taken to find some peace is one that should be shared.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Mourning Son” four tubs of popcorn out of five. There is nothing about this documentary that I’d change. It is a gripping tale of domestic violence, murder, fear, anger, and a deep sadness that only someone going through all of this can express.
Navarro does so in a way that has put his life in danger at times and given those who love him cause to worry – yet life had other plans and I for one am thrilled he is still with us.
The powerful use of music and imagery fused with the documentary is the deepest insight to the message Navarro is trying to convey. From the pain and confusion grew a young boy who would find his own way into a life of uniqueness!
In the end — this mourning son shares his path!