From the director of "Hoop
Dreams" comes "Stevie." This time life is the sport,
and the odds of victory seem stacked against
Compelling, while at the same time off-putting,
the documentary presents what seems to be a sincere
and boldly honest glimpse into the life one Stevie
Dale Fielding. Some ten years prior, the filmmaker
(Steve James) offered himself as a big brother to the
then troubled youth Stevie. This film is James'
return to the rural American town and his "younger
brother" all grown up and into even bigger
You'll be amazed how the relatives involved all
seem to speak candidly about incredibly difficult,
embarrassing, and potentially damaging subject matter
-- specifically, but not limited to, child abuse.
Struggling with his guilt for discontinuing as a big
brother all those years ago, and contemplating just
what role he should play in Stevie's current
predicaments, James becomes a subject in his own
documentary. I spoke with Steve James after viewing
the reel. Click here
for that interview.
Despite the coarse topics, this piece is
constructed well and with sincerity, and expands with
surprising breadth. My only criticism would be
regarding the use of slow motion. It subtracts from
the overall honesty of the documentary. Its use here
is thankfully minimal.
Subjecting such a serious work to a grading system
seems inappropriate -- so I won't.
director Steve James]