Since he was five years old, Tom has only eaten raw food. Uncooked, unheated food. His mother wants him to. She believes in the raw food diet, which she says is the healthiest lifestyle.
The hospital has determined that Tom is seriously undernourished. The mother has been reported for child neglect. Should she be allowed to continue feeding Tom a raw food diet, or should the authorities intervene?
Five years ago, director Anneloek Sollart made the children’s documentary, Raw (Rauw) in which she closely followed Tom and his mother. The film evoked strong and diverse reactions. On a nationally broadcast TV talk show, the mother was publicly exposed and condemned. People called for Tom to be helped. But no action was taken.
Now, five years later, Tom is seriously undernourished. Medical tests have shown that he is ingesting too few calories and is suffering from calcium deficiency. He will also be 12 to 15 centimetres shorter than if he’d had ‘normal’ nutrition. The strict diet has isolated Tom.
The demand for intervention is growing. The hospital reported the mother for child neglect. Tom and his mother were summoned to court. The mother has officially been charged with child neglect and psychological abuse. She has been ordered to adjust the diet. But Francis has no intention of changing her lifestyle. She remains a committed ‘raw foodist,’ and is supported by an American raw food guru. She believes she has her son’s best interests at heart.
In Rawer (Rauwer) we see how the world reacts to Tom and his mother. Will the mother continue to challenge boundaries? Will the authorities intervene? And, what will adolescent Tom do?