Ray Ashley, Morris Engel, and Ruth Orkin's Little Fugitive is simple, yet profound exploration of innocence, responsibility, and youthful exuberance, detailing the exploits of a young boy in Joey, a New Yorker who finds himself all alone in the crowded confines of Coney Island, having to fend for himself after his brother's practical joke goes too far. What equates to nothing more than a juvenile prank in the eyes of Lenny and his friends, a way of riding themselves of the responsibilities of caring after Lenny's kid brother Joey by faking death, quickly descends into a waking nightmare for Joey himself, who slowly sees his innocence stripped away instantly by the presumed death of his older brother, whom he believes was shot and killed. Joey is a character who is now all alone in the vast cityscapes of New York City, forced to fend for himself as he makes his way to Coney Island. Through an observational eye, Little Fugitive is an allegorical tale about want vs. need, detailing the transition which exists in life between the freedom of youth and the responsibilities of adulthood, detailing firsthand through the experiences of young Joey, who at least for a day, is forced to shed himself of his youthful innocence and work to sustain himself with no help whatsoever. Joey's experiences alone not only shatter his innocence but also that of his brother Lenny, who desperately tries to track down his kid brother, as both these boys learn a valuable lesson about responsibility and the great distinction which exists between want vs. need in the absence of their mother, who is forced to leave town due to a family emergency. The visual aesthetic of Little Fugitive is impressionistic, exuding the internal nature of this young boy, often oscillating between the youthful exuberance and endless curiosities of a child who finds astonishment in the omnipresent experiences of everyday life, and that of a waking nightmare, where the world around this young character feels overbearing, chaotic, and sometimes even malevolent to this young boy whose got so much to learn about the world around him. Featuring stark black and white cinematography, and sound design which features heavy use of strings, Little Fugitive is often an immersive experience, a observational and inquisitive study of youthful innocence which serves as a biting parable for adolescence and eventually adulthood. As we watch Joey navigate the unknown boardwalks and sandy dunes of Coney Island, we experience a child who slowly begins to adapt, learning to make money via recycling old glass bottles, using this money to do things he enjoys like riding the horses at the beach. The youthful lack of responsibility is supplanted by Joey learning and somewhat embracing his newfound sense of independence, but it is only an illusion, which slowly withers away as Joey struggles to sustain himself, with a creeping sense of loneliness, fear, and uncertainty creeping in, as Joey's innocence about everyday life becomes shattered under the weight of personal responsibility. A film full of social realism which surely influenced many film movements which followed it, such as cinema verite or the French New Wave, Little Fugitive is a film which magnificently encapsulates the great distinction between childhood and adulthood through its pensive, observational eye, being an immersive experience that defines both in vivid detail.
An idiosyncratic oddity which plays like a satirical documentary full of emotional truth, Shirley Clarke's The Connection is centered around eight drug addicts, who impatiently wait for their herion connection to arrive in a grungy, New York apartment. Jim Dunn, an aspiring documentary filmmaker, has cut a deal with the group of junkies- he will pay for their fix, in exchange for letting him document their experiences with heroin. Shirley Clarke's The Connection is far from an easy film to experience, being a piece of cinema that doesn't adhere to the established rules of the medium. It's grungy, bleak, and intent on forging its own path, one where narrative is inconsequential, with its main intent centered around transporting the viewer into the environment in which its subjects inhabit. These junkies, the perceived outcasts of society, give monologues and various diatribes about what they are thinking and feeling, as The Connection slowly humanizes them with its raw, unhinged style, tapping into their personal anxieties, emotions, and struggles, void of preconceived notions about these characters and how much of society views them. The use of jazz interludes which envelope the film are fitting for Clarke's experimental style, the improvisational nature where dialogue, camera-work, and story feel completely up-in-the-air, adhering to the raw, unabashed style of its subjects, the anxiety-riddled junkies who await their next fix. Much like John Cassavetes early work, Clarke's cinema verite style is a reminder of cinema's boundless nature as an artform, with The Connection not adhering to the established doctrine of filmmaking, focusing instead on expressing the look-and-feel of its characters, serving as a stark, yet stunning reminder of the unlimited potential of cinema where the rules of what is and what isn't cinema are merely a fabrication, created by those who don't recognize the ubiquitous nature of art. The Connection goes as far as to mock this idea of a clearly defined rules of cinema, with Clarke's film playing like a satire of documentary filmmaking at times, mocking Dunn, this documentary filmmaker, whose shows an inability to recognize the difference between subjective and objective reality, being a filmmaker who wishes to scope his subjects to create the narrative and story he desires, unable to recognize an observational, unobtrusive lens is paramount in exhibiting truth. Near the end of the film, Dunn himself writes off his documentary experiment as a failure, as Shirley Clarke's The Connection makes a profound statement about artistic endeavors, detailing how truth doesn't always adhere to a filmmakers vision, expressing how true artistic intentions must always be palpable and willing to adjust to the world which it chooses to document.
Documenting the tumultuous relationship between the people of Hong Kong and the Chinese Communist government when it comes to universal suffrage and democratic sovereignty, Joe Piscatella's Joshua : Teenager vs. Superpower examines this continued struggle through the lens of one of its most vocal and inspiring activists, Joshua Wong. The founder of Scholarism, a student organization which was founded to oppose the nationalization of education introduced in Hong Kong by the Chinese government, Joshua Wong represents the people of Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, with this young activist's resolve and dedication being kinetic, unwilling to be complacent in accepting the system as is - a deceitful "one country, two system" which finds the smaller Hong Kong systematically oppressed under the weight of the larger, communist China, where personal freedom's are not a priority, only the will of the state. Joe Piscatella's Joshua: teenager vs. Superpower is a rather straightforward activist documentary where intentions and outcome perfectly align, but while the film may lack some of the more nuanced aspects of this tumultuous relationship between communist China and capitalist Hong Kong, it is hard not to admire the film's dogmatic depiction of activism. Focusing specifically on the importance of the youth movement through its profile of Joshua Wong, Joe Piscatella's film is a plea to individuals, both young and old, asking them to engage in civil obedience when it is deemed necessary to instill social change, particularly in a place like Hong Kong which doesn't have the ability to democratically select its own leaders. The pacing of the film is its strong suit, following Joshua Wong's struggles and eventual victory over the National Education incentive early on, detailing the stark difference between education and indoctrination, a concept which sometimes I feel like not enough Americans' fully grasp. Joshua Wong's fight for freedom of thought is essential but also a microcosm of the larger fight his country has for having the right to their own democracy and hereby identity, one which is detailed with the Occupy Central protest which Scholarism joins over the desire for universal suffrage from Communist China. The continued escalation of the conflict between the people of Hong Kong and the state of China is felt throughout Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower, with the film be a glowing testament to the importance of perseverance the power of resolve. The pursuit off freedom is the lifeblood of Joe Piscatella's film, which exhibits the dedication and perseverance necessary to inflict change in the world, doing so with a glowing sense of admiration for its subjects.
Andrzej Wajda's final film, Afterimage, is an angry and essential biopic centered around avant-garde artist Wladyslaw Strzeminiski, who stood against Stalinist orthodoxy in order to preserve his artistic freedom, uncompromising in his desire to advance his ideas about the fundamental, individualistic nature of art and what it means for personal expression. Andrzej Wajda's Afterimage documents a renowned and respected Polish artist who is slowly ostracized for his unwillingness to conform to the desires of the establishment, rejecting the notion that all artwork must be rooted in social realism and political doctrine, unrelenting in his assertion that art is intangible, personal, and subjective. Wajda's film juxtaposes the individualistic nature of artwork and artistic expression with the collectivist nature of politics, detailing how socialistic practices of Marx Doctrine stand intrinsically at odds with creativity and expression, with authoritative government forces, whether from the right or left-side of the political spectrum, only respecting art that conforms to their ideology, which in this case was social realism, which can be used as a form of propaganda to comfort, control, and conform the masses to the vision of the establishment. Afterimage rightfully touches on how art itself, the personal freedom of expression, the various styles and meanings it can present to the world, is intrinsically at odds with the collectivist doctrine of cultural Marxism, where egalitarianism is obtained through forceful authoritative power, which retrains the individuals ability to think differently about the world around them, and form their own sense of expression through their art, regardless if it conforms to the mainstream perspective of how things should be. This idea that art exists solely for social change is absolutely destroyed by Andrzej Wajda in Afterimage, as the film reveals how art was easily reduced to government propaganda by this regime, with Wajda using this biopic to deconstruct how art itself is first and foremost the most liberal form of individualism and expression we as humans have, eviscerating this idea that art must be about larger social issues in order to be a valid or worth producing, which is what Wladyslaw Strzeminiski faced with the rise of the Police United Workers Party. Art, or personal expression, is individualistic by nature, with the creative process being something that manifests itself from a place of personal intimacy, yet the reason art is so threatening to authoritative regimes and various power structures is because while it comes from a deeply personal, individualistic place it has the power to transcend the individual and speak to the masses when shared, triggering some form of emotional or intellectual response from others, tapping into our shared humanity. A passionate biopic of one of Poland's most renowned artists, Andrzej Wajda's Afterimage is a needed expose into the true nature of art, where liberal, personal expression should never be censored or restricted, with art being a deeply personal experience that has the ability to inflict change in the collective through individual expression, not government force.
Set in a dystopian future where starvation is rife and mankind has been reduced to their primal nature of survival, Stephen Fingleton's The Survivalist is a dire, minimalist deconstruction of sustainability, where the harsh realities of nature provide little reprieve for sentimentality or empathy, with tactical practicality being of paramount concern. Featuring almost no dialogue early on, The Survivalist details the exploits of a man who lives off the grid, maintaining a small plot of land hidden deep in the forest in order to survive. A character who lives a life of complete and utter solitude, only concerned with survival, this man finds his internal cree tested by the arrival of a starving woman and her teenager daughter who seek refuge. Extremely untrustworthy at first, this man's veneer of suspicion soon weakens under the weight of his own loneliness, as he strikes a deal with the mother and daughter for refuge, with their budding, yet uneasy relationship slowly injecting more than just necessity into life, but also desire- a fleeting concept for a survivalist. Stephen Fingleton's The Survivalist is a film which never neglects the dire situation in which its characters find themselves in, never shying away from delivering an honest, grim reality of this existence, where tough decisions are made in order to survive, with empathy and general human kindness only managing to shine through in small glimpses, with these character's showcasing a quiet, muted yearning for some form of sentimentality which this existence strictly doesn't afford them. In this setting, desire is an afterthought, an incomprehensible ideal, a paramount aspect of our shared humanity which has been stripped away by scarcity and death with our main protagonist's own cold demeanor only slowly deteriorating once the mother and teenage daughter come into his life, offering him some semblance of companionship/shared humanity. The Survivalist exhibits how desire is an intrinsic part of our humanity, with necessity not being enough when it comes to placating the human condition. All these character, the man, the woman, and her daughter, have been reduced to a primal form of survival in one way or another, with trust being almost unattainable in such a world where life itself is less than assured. While grim from opening to close, at its core, The Survivalist is a film about humanities need for companionship, trust, and empathy, with the character arch of our main protagonist being one which finds a cold, primal figure slowly and methodically come to a point where he finds something in his life that he cares more about than himself. It's through his personal sacrifice that he finds solace in this harsh environment, placing another person's well-being above his own in the end, a completely foreign concept, particularly in this scarcity-stricken dystopian world. Exquisitely crafted and meticulous in its ability to create an atmosphere of foreboding dread and introspection, Stephen Fingleton's The Survivalist is a dire, yet poetic journey into darkness which finds a semblance of light.
Ridley Scott's Alien Covenant is a bewildering addition to the long standing franchise, a film which feels torn between serving two purposes, unable to fully pontificate the intellectual assertions which it opines due to its obligations of delivering the horror elements that one has come to expect from the franchise. Taking place approximately 10 years after the events of Prometheus, Alien Covenant introduces us to the crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy. Awakened from cryosleep due to a rogue energy wave damaging their ship, the crew of the Covenant soon discovers what they believe to be a inhabitable planet, one which they believe could be perfect for colonization. Investigating the new planet, the crew of the Covenant soon discovers that this planet is not one that offers the promise of life, but only death, due to malevolence that has taken place here. Alien Covenant is a bold vision, a film that certainly doesn't shy away from the continued mythology of the Alien world regardless of its multiple shortcomings. It's a film that one could admire simply for trying to do more than merely follow the same survival horror template, and while the film's thematic ideas about the relationship between creation, knowledge and power don't always form cohesive assertions, its refreshing to see a franchise be brave enough to continually go in a different direction, though its treatment of the xenomorphs will surely frustrate many fans of the franchise. The heart and soul of Alien Covenant lies in carrying on the narrative and thematic thrusts of its predecessor, Prometheus, with Michael Fassbender's David front and center, taking on an intriguing role as the synthetic whose become infatuated with creation, and the power and control which is intrinsically a part of it. There are certainly worse actors than Michael Fassbender to build a whole franchise and its mythology around, but one can't help but feel frustrated by the treatment of the xenomorphs, who feel regulated to the background, presented as quick-twitch beasts, instead of with the same horrific elegance they were treated to in the the early films. It's almost as if Ridley Scott has grown bored with the xenomorphys, much to the chagrin of fans of the franchise, with Fassbender's David being the true monster in Alien Covenant, the elegant horror icon whose diabolical nature is what I found myself gravitating towards. While Alien Covenant is intriguing, the film's various narrative subversions all fall relatively flat, whether being far too obvious from the onset or merely predictable, with the film's intellectual ideas and brave story being the high point, though even those get bogged down in a substandard screenplay and the film's desire to provide fan service.
Taking place at the height of the cold war, John Frankenheimer's Seven Days In May is a blistering political thriller with an anti-war, anti-aggression message, detailing the power struggle between President Jordan Lyman, an unpopular commander-and-chief, and General Scott, an extremely popular war hero, whose set his sights on the throne, unwilling to except what he perceives as weakness from the current administration. The inciting incident of these two men's cloak-and-dagger power struggle for control of the U.S. government is the signing of an arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union by President Lyman, a decision that hasn't sat particularly well with the American people or General Scott, who views this treaty as a sign of weakness, vocal in his opposition. Marine Crops Col. Jiggs Casey, who works directly for Scott, soon comes to the conclusion that senior military officers, lead by General Scott, are plotting a coup to overthrow the current administration, a discovery which forces Casey to turn his back on the man he has long admired in General Scott, doing so for the sake of the republic and the government institutions which he himself has sworn to protect. John Frankenheimer's Seven Days in May is a story of allegiances, oaths, and the coercive nature of pride, a film which finds Jiggs Casey confronted with his conscience, torn between his long-standing relationship with General Scott and his allegiances to the United States Constitution and the current administration. Jiggs Casey is a military man himself, one who also doesn't support the the President's pacifist approach, yet he fully recongized the danger in the extreme measures in which Scott is willing to go for the sake of patriotism, defense, and pride, leaving the protege in a place of mere solitude, unsure who he can trust as he rushes to gather evidence of Scott's treachery for the President. Both these men, President Lyman & General Scott, believe they are doing what is right for the sake of the people, yet Lyman's actions went through proper channels, with his treaty being approved by congress. In this sense, the intermingled nature of government institutions and military force is explored throughout Seven Days In May, with Frankenheimer's film being a resonant reminder of how much these two power structures can be at odds with each other over the right course of action, with the people's will, the democratic process, detached from the prideful actions of both military or political individuals, who each may have their own perspective. Scott's actions, ones he believes are the best course of action for the american people, ignore the constitutional processes, driven by his own individualistic ideals of what is necessary, with Seven Days in May using his downfall to exhibit the paramount importance of maintaining a democratic republic. One could even argue that Seven Days in May is a critique of formal government institutions as a whole in some ways, as the film exhibits humanities desire to be lead, with each of these men being in places of supreme power due to government, each driven by their individual beliefs, casting division and conflict among the American people in the process as they battle behind the scenes for control. Seven Days In May never casts much doubt about the nature of Scott's actions, as the viewer is led to believe early on that he is in fact performing a coup, and despite this lack of ambiguity, the film's tension and intrigue never waiver, a testament to John Frankenheimer's abilities as a director, crafting a compelling, tense match of egos, with General Scott and President Lyman fighting behind the scenes for the hearts of the American people. President Lymann and General Scott's battle over the treaty is a symbolic representation of the long standing division in this country as it relates to military interventionism and weapons manufacturing, with Seven Days In May in the end being a plea for peace and optimism, with Frankenheimer himself rejecting General Scott's aggression-based model of defense.
One of the few contemporary action filmmakers whose canon often manages to transcend the purely escapist, sensory stimulating expectation of the genre which he often inhabits, Johnnie To's latest film, Three, continues this tradition, delivering another layered, intriguing thriller that doesn't adhere to traditional genre classification. Taking place exclusively in the confines of a hospital, Johnnie To's Three details the arrival of Shun, a master criminal, whose intentionally shot himself in the head to avoid being immediately interrogated and thrown in jail. Claiming his personal human rights over his body after regaining consciousness at the hospital, Shun refuses to have surgery to remove the bullet lodged inside his skull, intentionally biding time until his underlings can rescue him. On the other side of the law, Chief Inspector Ken is deeply unsettled by his inability to interrogate Shun and get to the bottom of his criminal organization, growing impatient and concerned about what Shun's ultimate plan to evade the law may be. Stuck in the middle of this game between cop and criminal lies Dr. Tong, a idealist surgeon, whose perfectionist mentality and caring outlook has been tested by the tough reality of being a neurosurgeon, a career in which the difference between life and death lies in precision and uncertainty, featuring elements that are not always in a doctor's control What unfolds in Three, is a taut and tense battle of wills, as the optimistic Dr. Tong wrestles with the hardened Chief Inspector Ken who has a very different outlooks on life, being sculpted by the harsh reality in which he inhabits, while Dr. Tong remains driven by her ideological desire to help people. Those expecting an action extravaganza from Three are bound to be disappointed, as Johnnie To's film relies heavily on the impending nature of said action, delivering a brooding experience in which it isn't a question of if just when things are going to escalate into violence. The juxtaposition of Dr. Tong's profession, one driven by saving lives, and Inspector Ken's profession, one which lives more with the perpetrators of such violence than the victims of it, becomes one of the most interesting aspects of Johnnie To's Three and its emotional core, with the film managing to deliver a resonant assertion about true morality being unbiased in all instances, with Inspector Ken realizing that he can't bring himself to the level of those he is sworn to bring to justice. As much as a mystery film as an action film, Three slowly builds towards its relatively inevitable conclusion, an intricate, surgical ballet of carnage, which finds Johnnie To live up to his promise of delivering more one-of-a-kind action. To's direction, his use of lighting, and mise-en-scene aid in creating the film's overall atmosphere of tension, exhibiting this grandiose battle for morality through its two main protagonists who grapple with Shun's malevolent character. Johnnie To's latest film, Three, is another film which defies traditional action conventions, focusing as much on character and ideas as it does action, an intriguing morality tale which pays homage to the intensive care/surgical profession, one which works tirelessly operating in the thin line between life and death.
Meditative, atmospheric, and transcendent in its exploration of loss, Bas Devos' Violet is a striking cinematic achievement which places its emphasis on mood and emotion, far more interested in evoking the trauma experienced by its main protagonist than adhering to narrative and structural norms of cinematic storytelling. Violet is emotionally vibrant and piercing, an exploration of loss which aims to trigger a visceral response from the viewer, one rooted more in desire for emotional than intellectual response. Detailing the exploits of 15-year-old Jesse in the aftermath of his friend Jonas' death, Violet offers a haunting observational study of a young man who witnessed the stabbing death of his close friend, forcing the viewer to inhabit this uncomfortable space with a level of intimacy and honesty that is rare in much of cinema when it comes to the juxtaposition of life and death. Tepidly paced, Violet is a film in which not much happens from a narrative perspective. The film doesn't feel the need to didactically explain Jesse's home life, or his relationship with his friends, opting instead to interject the viewer directly into this world, seeing it through the eyes of our main protagonist as he tries to navigate the social environment he inhabits, now burderened witht he profound effect which loss and grief has on his psyche. The reason Violet works so well is Bas Devos' achievmenets as a director, as the film is a striking artistic achievement due to its ability to visually evoke such a profound part of the human experience, the inter-tangled relationship between life and death, through this artistic medium. Minimalist in terms of dialogue or action, Devos' ability to elicit his character's internal struggle through visuals is paramount throughout Violet, with one great example of this being in how the film plays with focus. Routinely blurring much of the composition, while leaving the main character in crisp, clear focus, Devos' visually expresses the psychological impact loss has on Jesse, as the world around him feels completely inconsequential, with Jesse himself fixated on his inner turmoil early on, locking out the world around him. The overall use of darkness and light is another aspect of Bas Devos' direction that stands out, with the filmmaker using darkness to evoke the detachment and coldness one feels from loss. Dark spaces are prevalent but almost always contrasted with light, often in the same rich composition, as Devos' visually strikes a brooding, aesthetic full of symbolism, one which evokes an emotional and introspective response- the intertwined relationship between life and death. The way Devos' uses silhouette, often visually reducing his characters to two-dimensional objects, ingeniously exhibits the toll loss has on the psyche of Jesse and others directly effected by Jonas' death. These characters are reduced to two-dimensional, binary objects through the use of silhouette, as if Devos' is visually expressing how in times of tragedy, life itself is reduced to a black-and-white, life-and-death simplicity. A mood piece through-and-through, Violet thrives due to its emotional resonance, being a film not only about the psychological effect of loss and grief but also the transcendent effect death has on all of us, particularly the young. Jesse is a character who doesn't know how to feel or expresses his pain, and the film beautifully uses this character to exihibit the shattering of youthful naivety. So removed from it, youth typically views death as a fleeling, foreign concept, but in Violet Jesse is confronted with it, unprepared for the stark impact death always has on the living. An artistic achievement that announces Bas Devos as a filmmaker to watch, Violet is a superbly well-crafted experience that's honest and resonant, detailing the effect death psychologically has on the individual, as well as the need for communication in such times, even when it's extremely hard to express our pain in any external form.
A twisted, narcissistic spin on the redemption story archetype, E.L. Katz's Small Crimes effectively transports the viewer into a world of self-interest and degradation, detailing the exploits of Joe, a disgraced former cop who has just been released after serving a six-year prison sentence for attempted murder. Vague about the crime itself, Small Crimes is a film which lets the viewer piece together the underlying facts along the way, following Joe as he returns home, only to find himself pulled back into the world he left behind, one which includes dirty cops, a bookie, and a man whose been left emotionally and physically damaged by Joseph's past transgressions, who remains out for justice, unable to except Joe's less-than-fair punishment for his crime. E.L. Katz's Small Crimes embraces the world in which its character in inhabits, shaping Joseph's characterization through the interactions he has with other people when he returns home. All parties involved throughout this film, outside of Joe's own parents, feel corrupt, diabolical or untrustworthy, as Small Crimes paints a picture of a protagonist in Joe, who isn't exactly considered a good, upstanding Samaritan. From his own parents, who remain deeply concerned and unwilling to trust Joseph with the simplest of good-natured tasks, to the various old acquaintances and ex-associates Joseph runs into, each with their own baggage, Small Crimes sculpts an environment where Joseph himself is revealed as a character, a low-life individual whose path to possible redemption feels continuously fleeting. While Joe's intentions seem genuine, it becomes clear through his interactions with others that he simply cannot fully separate himself from his past deceptions and double-crosses, a character himself who grasps at goodness, but struggles to consistently stay out of trouble due to his sorted past. He is a character who seemly cannot escape his past, no matter how hard he tries, a reality which creates continous trauma among those in his life outside of this deadly world, most notably his parents and his young daughters, whom he isn't allowed to see. While it's debatable whether Joe's character deserves or earns the audience's sympathy, Katz's film does interject glimpses of goodness in this character, most notably through the relationship which unfolds between him and Charlotte, the hospice worker of an old, seedy acquaintance of Joe. While their initial romance is sparked by Joe's deception, as he slowly peels away her inhibitions in an effort to leave her susceptible to being taken advantage of, as their relationship continues, it becomes clear that Joe has grown a form of attachment to Charlotte, drawn in by her authentic nature and empathy she shows towards him. Not even Joe's own parents have as much faith in Joe as a person, and Charlotte offers up a glimmer of hope to Joe, showing him a level of trust and genuine belief in his ability to be good, a hope that is quickly dashed in the end due to the combination of Joe's past and sorted present situation continually biting him. The ending of Small Crimes may be a bit shocking to some viewers but considering what transpires it feels like the only way to end a film like this, with Joe's corrupt past eventually leading to his demise. Joe's transgressions, his dealing with the wrong individuals eventually impact those in his life who are innocent in scary and tragic ways, leaving his father with no other choice but to cut out the cancer that has infected his family, doing what he believes is the only guarantee that the truly innocent lives in this, Joe's own daughters, could never be inflicted with the burden of their father's past mistakes. E.L. Katz's Small Crimes is a subversive look at the redemption story, a darkly comedic, tense story about a man who is unable to surpass his past mistakes.
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