Sunday, March 26, 2006

Video Monday! Frontline

Cody Perkins and Chris Johnson from Country Boys

Frontline has gotten me through many a lazy day with the added benefit of educating me as well. The other day I chose a program solely based on the title I was least likely to pick and wound up watching Donald Sutherland's Country Boys. It's a three-part series (360 minutes available entirely on the internet!):
For everyone who remembers what it was like to be young -- when the whole world seemed to stretch out before you while you were stuck in your own backyard -- this special FRONTLINE series tells the story of Chris and Cody: two boys growing up in a hard land, determined to beat the odds against them, and struggling with who they are -- and who they can become.

Unless your backyard was in the Appalachian hills of Floyd County in eastern Kentucky, I think this description is a tad misleading. More accurately this is an incredible portrayal of poverty in America; how the system breaks down the family unit, health, education, and motivation and how two at-risk teenage boys who have seen a lot of failure and tragedy in life, succeed in scraping by. But don't let *that* fool you. These guys aren't wearing capes through the entire series and heralding the wonders of the illusive American Dream. They're taking one day at a time and some days saying, Fuck it, because that's the reality of a particular day. And this is why I loved this program...because the boys are so honest and smarter than the world will let them be.

Filmed over three years of the boys' lives, I highly recommend sitting down with this film and definitely checking out the additional resources and information on the internet. It's become my favorite Frontline.

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