Documentary Film Of The Day - Stevie...

I just watched this movie again on either IFC or The Sundance Channel. It was made by Steve James, the same guy who brought us the unbelievably good "Hoop Dreams". While in college at Southern Illinois University, Steve became a "Big Brother" to a troubled child named Stevie Fielding. Stevie had been neglected and abused as a child and bounced around foster homes and juvenile detention centers. When Steve finished school and moved to Chicago, he lost touch with Stevie. Years later he wanted to find out what became of him. What he found was a conflicted man, prone to violence, living in a trailer next to his adoptive grandmother. It is discovered that Stevie had sexually abused his eight-year-old cousin, although he never really admits to it. Surprisingly, the movie portrays Stevie as someone who is at times terrifyingly hostile as well as pitiable because of the horrible upbringing he had to endure. There are times I questioned the wisdom of Mr. James decision to document the things that he did. In the end, though, the insight that is gained as a result of the extraordinary access he was given is invaluable.

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