June 17, 2016 10:43 am
"If I was going to document his life, I had to document how ineffectual I was being in helping him." — Director/Producer Steve James
In 1995, filmmaker Steve James returns to Pomona, a beautiful rural hamlet in Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, for whom James once served as an advocate Big Brother. He finds that the once difficult, awkward child has become -- ten years later -- an angry and troubled young man. Part way through filming, Stevie is arrested and charged with a serious crime. He confesses to the crime and then later recants. The filmmaker himself is drawn into the film as he tries to sort out his own feelings, past and present, about Stevie and how to deal with him in the wake of his arrest. What was to be a modest profile of Stevie, turns into an intimate four and a half year chronicle of a dysfunctional family's struggle to heal.
Stevie was awarded the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at the 2002 IDFA, the Mayor's Prize at the 2003 Yamagata Film Festival, and the Excellence in Cinematography Award at Sundance 2003.
"Stevie emerges painfully but profoundly as one of the most unusual, if not absolutely unique, efforts in the field of nonfiction filmmaking." — Andrew Sarris, The New York Observer
"The hardest film I've made. Also the most honest. And the saddest." — Steve James.
The film is a Kartemquin Films production in association with SenArt Films.
Extras included in this package:
Q&A: Steve James and Thom Powers discuss the ethics and aftermath of making Stevie at a 2011 Stranger Than Fiction screening at the IFC Center in New York. Watch here.
Cinema Citizen Article: "Stevie was the hardest film I’ve ever made. It probably will be the hardest film will I ever make." Find out why Steve James thinks empathy is the key to great documentary filmmaking here.
Available for Purchase on DVD:
em>Stevie is available on DVD here.