There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane

Watch There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane

  • TV-MA
  • 2011
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 6.7  (5,996)

There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane is a documentary film released in 2011. The film documents the tragic events that occurred on July 26, 2009, when a minivan driven by Diane Schuler, with her two children, three nieces, and her son's friend on board, crashed head-on into an oncoming SUV in the northbound lanes of the Taconic State Parkway in New York.

The film is divided into three parts. The first part explores the lives of the victims, the Schuler and Hance families. We get to know the children and their relatives through home movies, family photos, and interviews with family members and friends. Six of the eight passengers in the minivan died in the crash, including Diane Schuler, her daughter, three nieces, and the son's friend. Only Schuler's son, Bryan, and her 5-year-old son, sitting in the front passenger seat, survived.

The second part of the film examines the investigation into the crash. Initially, the police concluded that Schuler was drunk and high on marijuana when she drove the wrong way on the highway for almost two miles before crashing. However, the Schuler family disputed these allegations and hired private investigators to find out what really happened. The film explores the different theories and conflicting evidence and raises important questions about the reliability and accuracy of blood tests, forensic evidence, and eyewitness testimony.

The third part of the film deals with the aftermath of the crash and the impact it had on the families and the community. The Hance family, who lost their three daughters and their niece in the crash, formed a foundation to promote traffic safety and honor the memory of their beloved girls. They also struggled to cope with their loss and forgiveness towards Diane Schuler, who they believed was responsible for the tragedy. The Schuler family faced intense scrutiny and public scrutiny, and struggled to reconcile their memories of Diane as a loving wife, mother, and aunt, with the allegations of her reckless and impaired driving.

What makes There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane a powerful and memorable film is its deep empathy and human honesty. The filmmakers, Liz Garbus and Molly Thompson, spent three years researching and interviewing the families, the investigators, the lawyers, and the witnesses. They resisted the temptation to offer simplistic answers or sensationalistic speculations about what happened that day. Instead, they focused on the complex and heartbreaking journey of the families as they tried to make sense of the tragedy and find a way to heal and move forward.

The film raises important questions about alcohol and drug impairment and its impact on driving safety and public health. It also highlights the need for better education and awareness of the signs and symptoms of addiction and mental illness. The film does not shy away from portraying Diane Schuler as a flawed and troubled human being, but it also shows her as a loving and devoted wife, mother, and aunt, who struggled with the pressures and stresses of modern life.

In conclusion, There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane is a profound and moving film that deserves to be seen by all parents, drivers, and policymakers. It reminds us that traffic safety is not just a matter of obeying traffic laws and wearing seat belts, but also of understanding and helping those who may be struggling with addiction, mental illness, or emotional distress. The film honors the memories of the eight victims of the Taconic State Parkway crash and offers a powerful and heartfelt message of compassion, resilience, and hope.

There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane is a 2011 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (5,996)