Stevie (S. James, 2002)
As the film begins and director Steve James speaks about his days as a ‘big brother’ to the title character Stevie, having a sort of ‘little brother’ of my own, I couldn’t help but relate to a lot of the things he was saying and became interested almost instantly. From there, a grown up Stevie and becomes center stage in a devastating story of a disturbed man living in rural Illinois. Not far into the documentary, Stevie is arrested for child molestation and all of a sudden we as viewers are witnessing the everyday life of a monster – though strangely enough and slightly scary – there are times your heart weeps for this man.
As pointed out by several people in his life, he is very child-like, but it’s never so evident as during a scene when he reconnects with a foster family from his childhood. He beams with happiness, talks their ears off, and puts all of his life’s troubles out of his mind for a moment. It’s obvious they have an unconditional love for this troubled individual, and it was a sad realization that he couldn’t stay with them forever. Stevie is full of moments like this with several folks that helped shape his life and, truthfully, we learn almost as much about these people as we do Stevie. It’s a film mostly about a man and his problems, but also very much about a family and community around him. 9.25/10