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Son of the Sunshine (2009)

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A socially disconnected young man with Tourette's Syndrome undergoes an experimental surgery to correct his disorder, but as his symptoms start to fade so does his ability to heal the sick and dying.


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Title: Son of the Sunshine (2009)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sonny Johnns
Rebecca McMahon ...
Meryl Johnns
Liz Johnns
Leonard Johnns
Craig Porritt ...
Robert Skeates ...
Dr. Morgan
Eden Genovese ...
Baby Meryl
Jesse Potter ...
Sonny - Age 5
Gal Amit ...
Sonny - Age 11
Rachel Salem Wiseman ...
Arielle - Age 7
Amanda Kistindey ...
Mother on Subway
Isabella Achoneftos ...
Toddler on Subway


Immersed in the dingy world of low-income housing and diagnosed at age 11 with Coprolalia Tourette's Syndrome, Sonny Johnns cries out to a world that has left him by the wayside. Using money saved from years of government disability he takes part in an experimental surgery promising to rid him of his violent outbursts. With his symptoms eradicated Sonny feels he is finally experiencing life for the first time. But as his disorder begins to vanish so too does a divine ability of which only he and his sister Meryl are aware; an ability that saved his sister's life and upon which Sonny may need to call again. Written by Ryan Ward

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love heals.





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Release Date:

14 October 2011 (Canada)  »

Box Office


CAD 100,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

"Dramatic, lyrical and ultimately authentic..."
16 April 2013 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

Canadian actor, screenwriter and director Ryan Ward's feature film debut which he co-wrote with Canadian screenwriter Matthew Heite, was screened at the 33rd Montréal World Film Festival in 2009, was shot on locations in the province of Ontario, Canada and is a Canadian production which was produced by producer Paul Fler. It tells the story about a man with TS named Sonny Johnns who lives with his mother who is in bad relationship and his sister Meryl who is moving out due to her disputes with their mother. Sonny has such a strong degree of vocal and physical tics that it almost overshadows his personality, and in the hopes of becoming better he uses his savings from his disability benefits on a surgery that is said to cure all the tics.

Distinctly and engagingly directed by Canadian filmmaker Ryan Ward, this finely paced fictional tale which is narrated by the main character and mostly from his point of view, draws an involving portrayal of a 24-year-old man with a special gift and his relationship with his mother, sister and a woman named Arielle. While notable for it's naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions, sterling cinematography by Canadian cinematographer Chayse Irvin, production design and costume design by production designer and costume designer Deirdra Morris, use of sound and use of light, this character-driven and narrative-driven story about an afflicted and brave man who whilst searching for his true identity and for the first time in his utterly solitary existence gathers up enough confidence to approach and speak to a woman is given a chance to live a "normal" life, depicts a dense and empathic study of character and contains a great score by composer Matthew Montour.

This romantic, spiritual, somewhat surreal and heartrending fable from the late 2000s which gets quite far into the mind state of a person with Tourettes Syndrome who is as conflicted by his affliction as he is by his family relations, is impelled and reinforced by it's fragmented narrative structure, substantial character development, emotional substance, multiple perspectives, unrestrained characters and the heartfelt acting performances by Ryan Ward and Canadian actresses Shantelle Canzanese, Joann Nordstrom and Rebecca Mcmahon. A dramatic, lyrical and ultimately authentic indie which gained, among numerous other awards, the award for Best Director and Best Actor Ryan Ward at the 6th Wild Rose Independent Film Festival in 2009.

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