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Best Boy (1979) - Plot Summary Poster

(1979)

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Summaries

  • In this documentary, the director follows the day-to-day activities of his retarded, middle-aged cousin Philly, over a three-year period.

  • Director Ira Wohl documents three years in the life of her cheerful, mentally handicapped 52-year-old cousin, Philip Wohl, whose elderly parents have recently started to prepare him for the day when they can no longer be his caretakers. Ira follows Philly as he travels from his apartment in Queens into Manhattan, where he takes classes to learn to care for himself. Slowly, Philly begins to learn the ways of the world and becomes more self-reliant and independent.

  • Portrait of a family in transition: a mother, a father, and their son, their "best boy." Pearl and Max Wohl live in Queens with Philly, their cheerful, engaging, and mentally-disabled son. For 50 years Pearl and Max have provided a loving home for Philly, but they're aging, Max is ailing, and they must figure out what's to happen to Philly when they can no longer care for him. Are there options besides an institution? Philly's cousin is Ira Wohl, whose camera follows the family as Philly takes steps into the wider world.


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