13 year old Samantha and her 6 year old brother, William Paul, survive a major tragedy that sees their whole family dead, leaving them in a foster home. Life at the foster home slowly ...
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13 year old Samantha and her 6 year old brother, William Paul, survive a major tragedy that sees their whole family dead, leaving them in a foster home. Life at the foster home slowly becomes abusive and the kids run away and attempt to survive on their own in some abandoned structures in the woods. When the food and supplies run out, Samantha is forced to find a way to feed her brother. She turns to her musical abilities, while finding help from a mysterious source. William Paul falls ill and the clock begins ticking for Samantha to find food and medicine. Will she find it in time? Written by
Greetings again from the darkness from the Dallas International Film Festival. Very few things in life bother me more than seeing kids mistreated. It seems so simple: if we want productive caring adults, it's our responsibility to raise, train, and treat kids accordingly.
In writer/director Tim Skousen's film, 13 year old Sam (Alexandra Peters) and her 6 year old brother William Paul (Gavin Howe) manage to escape an unthinkable and violent family tragedy that leaves them without parents. This of course leads to foster parents, and though we have seen worse, it's clear that Sam and William Paul are viewed as little more than a paycheck in their new home. The two kids are never allowed to work through their devastating loss, and instead cling to each other for security.
In fear of being split from her brother and suffering another unbearable loss, Sam takes charge and leads her brother into the woods where she believes she can take care of him and protect him. As smart as she is, 13 year olds have limited survival skills and soon enough the siblings are in need of food and medicine. They cross paths with an understanding bar owner played by Tom Nowicki, and his kindness can be questioned by viewers is he doing the right thing?
The spirit of the story is alive in each scene thanks to a remarkable performance from Alexandra Peters as Sam. She is stunning in the strength and vulnerability she displays, while also maintaining a childlike curiosity that perfectly captures the notion that every child "deserves a life". Mr. Skousen has a keen eye for camera work, and it's especially effective during the Thanksgiving Day in-home tragedy. And with his heavenly approach to good (and never ending) parenting, it's a reminder for us to constantly ask if we as parents are making things better or worse for kids.
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