A Compelling, but Troubling Portaint of Family
JustCuriosity from Austin, TX, United States
14 March 2009
Lance, Craig, Ubaldo, and Larry aren't family in the traditional sense
of the word. They aren't related, but they have formed a family unit
together for 20 years - albeit a somewhat dysfunctional one. Larry is
an elderly man who takes care of his 3 schizophrenic "sons." It is a
stressful problematic family headed by an increasingly dysfunctional
and sometimes violent alcoholic. The film provides us with a window
into a world that most of us, thankfully, don't have to experience, but
unfortunately are rarely aware exists. Their story is compelling and
deeply troubling indictment of our social welfare system. They are
living on the margins of our society in a cheap hotel in Alameda, CA.
Their biological families don't want them or can't take care of them.
Nobody else really wants them and the State of California is clearly
not doing enough to provide them with the treatment that these men
Sons of a Gun is a very personal film about a very troubled group of
men that have little more than themselves and a few friends to rely on.
The filming is clearly done with love. It is also a statement about the
failure of American society help those who need the most help and to
find a place for those who are struggling with demons that are beyond
Perhaps most importantly the film helps to humanize a group of people -
the mentally ill - who most often are treated with "a see no evil, hear
no evil, speak no evil" attitude by American society. This film should
be seen by people so that our society will begin to address the
struggles of the mentally ill - perhaps the most ignored and forgotten
members of American society.
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