The 1988 television movie, "David," is based on the true story of 6-year-old David Rothenberg, who was kidnapped by his own father in the middle of a volatile divorce. David's father quickly learns that he cannot take care of David on his own, and in an act of revenge to David's mother, gives him sleeping pills, pours gasoline over him and sets him on fire. The movie then focuses on David's struggles to recover.
David, played by Matthew Lawrence, received third-degree burns to over 90 percent of his body. This level of injury causes him to endure an intense and painful healing and rehabilitation plan. The movie's message of looking beyond what is on the surface comes through in David's struggles as well as in the strength of his mother, Marie, who is played by Bernadette Peters. Marie has to be strong for David while trying to also make sense of what his father has done to him.
"David" was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup, Outstanding Drama and Outstanding Sound Editing, as well as a Young Artist Award nomination for Matthew Lawrence in the category of Best Young Actor in a Special, Movie or Mini-Series.