Directed by Andrew Morgan and Executive Produced by Livia Firth, Lucy Siegle and others, The True Cost is a fashion documentary about the human and environmental impact of fast fashion and the clothing industry in general.
Tom Ford attended the London Premiere and said “I was truly moved by it and I think anyone who isn’t moved by it would be callous. It is brilliant.”
Have you seen the film yet and what did you think?
Trigger warnings(?) : Mental health problems, brain injury (speech impediments, deteriorating mobility - not anxiety/depression)
It was all too good to be true. Stan knew it was far too optimistic to believe that his brother would have no lasting effects of the electrical torture Bill put him through. For the first few days after Weirdmageddon, as Stan was recovering his memories, Ford had seemed fine. Sure, he seemed to keep passing out at random moments and forgetting things nearly as much as Stan himself, but Stan chalked the sleep down to exhaustion. He doubted that Ford had had a moment’s rest while in Bill’s clutches. He didn’t think much of it when Ford fell asleep face-down into his lunch one day.
It was only after a week that things started getting scary. The twins had gone home and hadn’t picked up on Ford’s strange behaviour. Stan had, though. Before Weirdmageddon, Ford always walked with a slight spring in his step, always confident, a man on a mission. Now, Ford walked almost bow-legged. He barely bent his knees and his legs were too far apart. He seemed to stumble and trip a lot, too. Stan had been startled one evening to find Ford lying face-down on the carpet, struggling to get back up. He didn’t seem to be able to hold a pen without dropping it, either.
It wasn’t just his walk or his movements that were weird. Ford always talked very articulately, enunciating his words quickly and precisely, as if he had swallowed a dictionary. Now, he stuttered and stumbled over his words, struggling to speak. His eyes were always unfocused and Stan was downright worried when he noticed them darting back and forth across the room at a dizzyingly fast pace. Ford didn’t seem to be able to say a simple sentence without struggling to speak, as if he were a young child learning to read for the first time.
It was when these symptoms started showing up that Stan really got concerned. He knew there was something wrong with his brother, but he had no idea what. Well, he knew what was wrong with him, he just didn’t know why. As the days passed, Ford’s symptoms only grew worse and worse until he was barely able to say his own name without pausing and thinking, before slowly letting the word roll off his tongue.
Stan decided to do some digging. He borrowed almost every available book on neurology, psychology, medicine and the human brain that he could find. He spent hours upon hours pouring through them, trying to find an answer to his brother’s odd behaviour. He knew it would be much faster looking up the symptoms online, but Stan had never quite grasped the concept of the Internet.
As he scanned through a fourth book on psychology in his favourite living room chair, he heard something smash in the kitchen, immediately followed by a startled yelp. He set the book down and rushed into the kitchen to find Ford sitting amongst some broken glass and a puddle of water, shards of glass sticking into his hand. Blood slowly dripped down his hand and onto the floor.
Stan sighed, kneeling beside his brother and using some paper towel to mop up the water. He collected the shards of glass on the table before helping Ford to his feet. Ford stumbled, having to lean against his brother for support. Holding Ford’s injured hand by the wrist in one hand, Stan slung Ford’s other arm around his shoulders and guided his brother to the bathroom. He sat Ford down on the closed toilet lid and began removing the shards of glass from Ford’s hand. Ford let out a sharp hiss and a few slurred mumbled words ever so often. It had gotten to the point where Stan could barely understand what his brother was saying. It broke Stan’s heart to see Ford like this. He couldn’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for Ford.
Once the glass was removed, Stan cleaned and wrapped Ford’s hand securely. Ford sniffled a little bit. Stan looked up to see tears trickling down his brother’s face. Ford let out a choked sob and leaned forward into Stan’s shoulder. He struggled to get his arms up around his brother’s back.
Stan lifted Ford’s arms up so they were around his neck before pulling his brother close. Stan sat on the bathroom floor and gently lifted Ford off the toilet and sat him in his lap like a young child. Ford buried his face in Stan’s neck, trembling with quiet sobs. Stan kept his brother in a tight hug. “Oh Poindexter… wish I knew what was wrong with you…” he murmured quietly.
Ford sat up a little bit, bringing one hand up to his head. He weakly tapped a finger against his skull, his eyes downcast. He mumbled something, his words slurred inaudibly.
Stan frowned. “I know, your brain’s all messed up, bud. Wish I could work out why, though.”
Ford shook his head. He curled his hand into a fist and knocked it against his head. Stan was startled to hear what sounded like metal beneath his brother’s scalp. His eyes widened. “Ford…? Is that… is that metal?!”
Ford nodded, his face lighting up a little bit. His arms dropped weakly back to his side. He tried to pull himself to his feet by gripping onto the sink, but lacked the upper body strength. Stan caught the hint and helped his brother up, looping one of Ford’s arms over his shoulders again.
Ford stumbled in the direction of his bedroom. Stan held him up as slowly the pair left the bathroom and walked down the hall. Ford slumped into the chair by his desk and grabbed a pen, clutching it in his fist as tight as he could manage. He dragged over a scrap piece of paper and put the pen down.
Stan watched in anticipation as Ford began drawing on the paper. The lines were shaky and rough, but they were as clear as they needed to be for Stan to understand them. Ford drew a small triangle on the paper, before drawing what looked like a lemon in the middle, a small black line through the middle of the shape in the centre.
Stan swallowed. “Bill…?”
Ford nodded, grinning slightly. Stan was concerned to see that his eyes were unfocused again. He put the pen onto a clear space of the paper and drew three long, jagged lines on the page, representing a lightning strike.
Stan ran a hand through his hair, the pieces beginning to fall into place. “Bill… struck you with lightning?”
Ford put his hand out flat and tipped it side to side in a “sort of” motion. He drew a crooked stickman with something wrapped around its neck, arms and legs. He drew some small circles joined to the cuffs with more lightning bolts leading up to Bill’s eye. The whole drawing was shaky and childlike, but Stan knew exactly what it meant.
His heart pounded in his throat as he fixed Ford with a scared look. “Bill… electrocuted you…?”
Ford nodded rapidly, his mouth open in a lopsided smile. He tapped again on the side of his head, his skull making the same metallic clunking sound. Stanley gulped. “A-and that metal in your head conducted it to your brain?”
Ford nodded again. He put his hand on Stan’s arm, his mouth wide in a grin. Stan noticed his eyes seemed focused on him and full of joy. Stan couldn’t believe it. He was in shock. The sort of electric shock Bill must have given him to cause damage like that… it made him sick. One question still lingered in the forefront of his mind.
“C-can it be cured…?”
Ford swallowed and looked away. He didn’t nod, but he didn’t shake his head either. His shoulders raised in a quick shrug. Stan noticed Ford was trembling again. He knelt to his brother’s level, wrapping his arms securely around Ford once more. Ford leaned into the hug, body shaking with fresh sobs.
Stan ran a hand through his brother’s hair. “Don’t worry, Poindexter, we’ll get you some help. We’ll get you better, I promise.” He felt Ford relax in his arms and nod slowly.
Stan wasn’t entirely sure he’d be able to keep that promise.