144: Not Carol: Postpartum Psychosis Documentary

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Today’s show takes a look at the difficult topics of postpartum psychosis and infanticide through the eyes of the filmmakers of the documentary, Not Carol. The film covers the story of Carol Coronado, who was convicted of the 2014 murders of her three young daughters in CA while highlighting the desperate need for education and services for mothers and fathers in recognizing and treating postpartum psychosis. Join us for a conversation with the producers and directors of Not Carol, Eamon Harrington and Veronica Brady.

Eamon Harrington has co-owned Planet Grande Pictures since forming the company in 1993 with John Watkin. During that time, he has produced and directed hundreds of hours for all the major broadcast and cable outlets, winning seven Emmys along the way. Other industry honors include a Peabody Award and a DuPont Columbia Baton. Before forming Planet Grande, Eamon spent three years as Head of Production at VH1 in New York. Eamon has directed dozens of documentaries and unscripted series. His Emmy award-winning documentaries include Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? (with Maria Shriver for HBO), Shades of a Single Protein (with Oprah Winfrey for ABC), Positive: A Journey into AIDS (ABC), and In Full Effect (FOX). Eamon is a hands-on producer and director, and frequently shoots many of his projects. That same hands-on approach brings him into the editing room on nearly every project.

Veronica Brady is a director, producer, and archivist. She has a varied career in theatre, TV, and film, which includes directing over 100 plays, helming three theatre companies as Artistic Director, and working on many TV shows, numerous documentaries, and feature film productions. Veronica has received an Emmy, multiple TV awards, and recognition in Ovation and LA Weekly for her theatre work. Her most recent film work as archival producer includes the documentaries: Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie (a Hulu documentary), Love 99 (Napa Valley Film Festival), Not Carol, Johnny Strange: Born to Fly, Ethel (an Emmy-nominated/Television Critic Award-winning documentary produced for HBO), Every Fifteen Minutes (a Telly Award-winning short film), Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? (an Emmy-winning and Television Critic Award-winning HBO documentary), and Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans (a 5 episode series produced for Discovery/Velocity).

Show Highlights:

  • How the documentary takes a look at maternal mental illness, specifically postpartum psychosis
  • Not Carol, which follows the story of 30-year-old Carol Coronado, arrested for the murder of her three young daughters, all under 2-½ years old
  • The 4-5 year filmmaking journey looking at postpartum psychosis through the lens of Carol’s case wrapped up in advocacy and information
  • What really happens when psychosis sets in and how little we know and understand about it
  • The importance of populating the film with leading experts on postpartum psychosis and survivors who have lived through it
  • What surprised Eamon and Veronica about the lack of laws for infanticide in the US, meaning these women are tried for 1st-degree murder with no recourse for legal defense, all based on laws dating back more than 150 years
  • How these women are at risk even when they are incarcerated
  • How the title Not Carol came about and fits the story
  • What Eamon and Veronica wished people understood about postpartum psychosis: how to recognize this treatable, temporary illness
  • The lack of substantial help for those left behind after a postpartum psychosis tragedy
  • The double whammy of the illness AND the trauma
  • The numbers: 4 million babies are born in the US yearly; 1 in 5 moms will experience some form of postpartum depression; about 2 in 1000 will have postpartum psychosis; of these with PP psychosis, 4% will commit infanticide, and 5% will commit suicide
  • Why Eamon and Veronica think young women AND young men should see the film, to help them understand that postpartum psychosis is a real thing
  • Why much patience was required in the filmmaking process
  • How Eamon and Veronica secured the trust and approval of individuals and Postpartum Support International to tell the story
  • How Eamon and Veronica have become advocates in Carol’s story and for her family
  • How to have a screening in your area

Resources:

Film information and the 5-part podcast: https://www.notcarol.com/

For more information, please see the Planet Grande website: https://www.planetgrande.com/

Postpartum Support International: www.postpartum.net

152 episodes available. A new episode about every 7 days averaging 36 mins duration .