Film critic, writer, and broadcaster Thom Ernst chronicles his life growing up with an abusive father in rural Ontario.
The residents of Waubamik know about the Wild Boy, a somewhat feral child, standing near-naked in a rusty playground of weeds and discarded metal, clutching a headless doll. They know the boy has been plucked from poverty and resettled into a middle-class family. But they don’t know that something worse awaits him there.
This is a story of a system that failed, a community that looked the other way, and a family that kept silent. It is also a document of the popular culture of the 1960s, a powerful set of myths that kept a boy comforted. But ultimately, The Wild Boy of Waubamik is a story of triumph, the story of the abusive childhood of a man who grew up to become a film critic and broadcaster. It reminds us that life, even at its darkest, can surprise us with moments of joy, hope, and dreams.