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
[when his step-grandmother mentions Stevie's abusive biological mom]
I don't have a mother, I never had one, and on the day she dies, I'm gonna go, and I'm gonna laugh at her!
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This, to my mind, is how a documentary should be. The filmmaker makes no direct appeal for sympathy, he doesn't try to explain things, he just shows what is and lets the involved parties state their versions of what happened. In short, he documents: he does not propagandize.
Rarely have two and a half hours of viewing slipped by so rapidly for me. I was near tears at the end of it--not because my emotions had been "tweaked" or played with by the film's creator, but simply out of a feeling of despair for our miserable human condition. This superb film lays a lot of truths about humanity pitilessly bare.
I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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