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He began a film, a search, to discover not only what had happened to Stevie over the past ten years but to understand the forces that had shaped his entire life. Part way through the filming, Stevie is arrested and charged with a serious crime that tears his family apart. What was to be a modest profile turns into a intimate four and half year chronicle of Stevie, his broken family, the criminal justice system and the filmmaker himself, as they all struggle with what Stevie has done and who he has become. Written by
This film is about a kid named Stevie from rural southern Illinois who was abused, neglected, and bounced around between various homes as a child. As an adult, he acts as we might predict: he is unstable, has a skewed moral compass, is child-like, and commits serious crimes. The filmmaker was a mentor to Stevie while at college and returns to catch up with him years later. He finds out that Stevie has been indicted with a serious crime and faces a long prison sentence. He uses this film as a way to investigate the root causes of Stevie's current behavior and to alleviate some guilt about not 'being there' for Stevie
after college, he moved to Chicago and didn't have contact with
Stevie for many years. This film is a discussion-starter and brings up many questions about how children are raised and how a child's upbringing will affect his/her life. The editing job is mediocre and I think the film starts to get long-winded and boring toward the middle. Also, I can't help but feel that the director's somewhat warped, voyeuristic vision of what the film is or what it will do is ethically questionable. However, the film is honest and straight-forward and will elicit good discussion afterwards, even if you do end up pretty depressed.
6 out of 10
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