6.2/10
32
2 user 2 critic

Down by the River (2012)

A family deals with the disease of sickle cell, in there youngest family member. In the midst of this trying time and prosperous time at moments, there are many other obstacles that come in... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Adriana Ford ...
Hannah
...
Skylar
Alethea Bailey ...
Tammy
...
Julia
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Doctor
Jason Craig ...
Waiter
Johnnie Davis ...
Mechanic Boss
Adrianna Ford ...
Hannah
Chuck Houston ...
Publisher Exec
...
Physician
Beny Schwarzt ...
Leroy
Chad Thackston ...
Steve
...
Greg Heaths
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Storyline

A family deals with the disease of sickle cell, in there youngest family member. In the midst of this trying time and prosperous time at moments, there are many other obstacles that come in to play, that test the very foundation of this family. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

11 March 2014 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
Considering the budget, this film is amazing.
23 March 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Down By the River" is most likely a film you'll never watch—and that is a real shame. With its paltry $750,000 budget, it's unlikely to come to your local theater and it might be tough to find it on DVD. Tiny films like this simply don't get the distribution a Hollywood-type production gets—and it's a shame, as the film gets more bang for the buck than any recent film I can recall. A typical film from Hollywood will have a budget of at least $50,000,000—and perhaps four times that for a film designed as a blockbuster. Even an indie film usually runs at least $10,000,000. Yet, somehow the makers of "Down By the River" managed to create a nice little film for practically nothing.

Sean Johnson stars as Skylar—a working man who loves his mother and sickly sister. This is a bit confusing at first, as the sister is quite young (about 8) and Skylar looks to be about 25. Regardless, his sister and mother are extremely important and the film is how he copes with everyday problems as well as problems related to his sister's Sickle Cell Anemia—and she has a particularly bad case. I would love to say more, but it might ruin the film for you. Suffice to say, you should have some Kleenex handy, as it is a touching film that might bring a few tears with it.

What I loved about this film most is that the movie is about black families and it lacks the usual clichés. Skylar does NOT deal with stress by drinking, drugging, getting arrested or running from his. He is a man—and a darned decent one. Again and again, the film COULD have degenerated to stereotypes and clichés but remained true to the character. Likewise, most of the rest of the cast is black and most of them are amazingly normal—something we need MUCH more of in films and on television—where black men too often are shown as either criminals or comic relief—not normal men. There are a few other cast members who are not black (such as Skylar's friend—I really liked this character) and they seemed amazingly real as well. Overall, everyone just seemed very normal and natural. Sure, a few times the acting wasn't perfect—but considering their experience levels of the cast, it was simply amazing. Think about it—the film was made on a "Plan 9 From Outer Space" budget (adjusted for inflation) and yet it is something everyone who made the film can be proud of and use as a stepping stone to other projects.

What I also loved about this film is that you can show it to anyone—your spouse, your mom or your kids. There just aren't enough films like this —especially films that are not cartoons. I can't wait to see what other work comes from these folks.

Currently, this film has a horrible rating of 2.9 on IMDb (only based on 10 viewers) and the review I am about to post there is only its first— though the film was completed in 2012. When it does come out, give it a try—I doubt if you'll regret it. And, if you like it, rate it on IMDb— it deserves a respectable score because it's NOT a 2.9 quality film.


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