Director: Steve James

Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


Steve James's new film takes a deeply personal turn as he returns to the town where 10 years earlier he was a "big brother" to a troubled young boy named Stevie. As he resumes his connection with this emotionally and socially challenged man after so many years, we get a glimpse into the difficulties Stevie faced as a product of his environment. Abandoned by his mother at a young age, he bounced from foster home to foster home, abused and neglected. He soon found his way into trouble with the law, which complicated his strained relationships with what little family he had.

Filmed over a number of years, this compassionate, emotionally powerful film gives us the opportunity to witness firsthand what can happen when the system fails a person. If only someone had really cared for Stevie, things might have turned out differently. Director James wrestles with his own issues of having abandoned Stevie years before when he left the area and lost touch with him. We are left with a sense of sadness, frustration, and—hopefully—a greater understanding of our responsibility for one another.

— Lisa Viola

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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