In 1995, director Steve James (of 'Hoop Dreams') returned to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled young boy to whom he had been an "Advocate Big Brother" ten years earlier.
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He began a film, a search, to discover not only what had happened to Stevie over the past ten years but to understand the forces that had shaped his entire life. Part way through the filming, Stevie is arrested and charged with a serious crime that tears his family apart. What was to be a modest profile turns into a intimate four and half year chronicle of Stevie, his broken family, the criminal justice system and the filmmaker himself, as they all struggle with what Stevie has done and who he has become.Written by
I strongly suggest you see the documentary "Stevie" when it hits theaters. I saw a free special advance screening and it one blew me away. This one was long, over 2 hours. I expected to laugh at the messed up hicks when I heard it was a film about trailer trash. How unforgivably judgmental of me. instead of a shallow, exploitive Jerry Springer episode, I found myself wrapped up in the reality of their personal pain, regret, and hopelessness. I wish I could thank them all for shedding light on all the dark corners of their lives for us to see and gain insight. I was moved to tears several times (although I did have to laugh just as often). I felt a tremendous amount of shame for the internal suffering of those difficult people and situations we look down on, talk down to, ridicule, and ignore. I walked out of the movie with a better understanding than ever about what unconditional love and acceptance means. You have to see it.
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