Sometimes the real horror in a film is worse than a fiction story.

I cannot imagine anything worse than what the parents in “Fatal Distraction” have experienced.

Earlier this week, I did a story about a local suspect who faces a felony charge in connection with leaving a baby – who survived – in a hot car. Ever since, I could not stop thinking about this documentary.

Susan Morgan Cooper’s documentary is based on a Washington Post article by Gene Weingarten, who appears here. Weingarten becomes emotional when he talks about the time this almost happened to him … until his child said something and he remembered that someone else was in the car with him.

Both Weingarten’s article, and this movie, examine the circumstances of parents whose children died in hot cars.

The central story is about Justin Ross Harris, whose 22-month-old son Cooper died in a hot car in 2014. Harris has been sentenced to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of intentionally killing the little boy.

But did he? As you learn more about the case, you’ll wonder whether Justin Harris was really on trial for his morals and not his actions.

On Wednesday, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned Harris’s murder conviction.

Leana Harris, the boy’s mother, courageously reflects on the day her son died. Watching the movie is like re-living the tragedy with her.

We also see other parents who, despite their pain, share the situations that led to the deaths of their children and also how they have been able to cope.

The film handles the tragedies with grace and understanding. Dr. David Diamond, a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of South Florida, talks about memory lapse and what might account for a parent’s distraction.

I must warn those who consider viewing this movie: I broke down several times while I watched it. It does what all excellent documentaries do: It will make you think, reconsider and feel.

4 stars

Running time: One hour and 30 minutes.

Watch the trailer here.

Streaming on Hoopla or for free with ads on The Roku Channel, Tubi TV. You also can rent or buy it on Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Store, Apple iTunes online and to download it on Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, and Microsoft Store.