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Fraser C. Heston
I saw this film on April 5th, 2006 in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival's Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture " explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.
This film is about a 12 year old boy growing up and coming of age in a small, picturesque town in the Midwest. Even though his family is of modest means, he has an ideal life with a loving family consisting of his father, mother, two little sisters, and his beagle dog, Shiloh.
The boy takes on a challenge. He befriends an old, cantankerous man who has no friends or family, and is rumored to be involved in everything from dog beating, to burglary, and even to a current murder investigation. This old man was abused as a child and seems to be a hopeless cause. His cause seems hopeless not only because of his behavior, but also because he is forever the victim of gossip. The boy looks for the good in the old man even though he is not sure if he will succeed or whether the old man is capable of change.
Along the way, the boy confronts other challenges closer to home. He has a senile Grandmother who appears to be an Alzheimer victim and is difficult to love. He also has a rebellious young sister who is a constant pain.
Displaying sacrifice and compassion well beyond his years, the boy learns valuable lessons about life. However, this is not a preachy movie. The morality statements are understated, and the children are surprisingly fine actors who mostly display the fun of being young and open and naive. The whole family can enjoy this movie, which is part mystery, part adventure and part family drama.
FYI There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.
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