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quietearth [Celluloid 01.07.09] drama

Year: 2008
DVD Release date: Unknown
Directors: Gregory King
Writers: Gregory King
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Empathy for drug addicts is something not all of us have. Creatures of their own making, some would make excuses blaming it on their upbringing while others would rightly point out we are all responsible for our own actions. Hiding in a crack pipe from the worlds ill's is no excuse, and that's exactly what A Song of Good tackles: drug addiction from the point of view of one Kiwi lad. While I watched our protagonist Gary's position with empathy, pathetic as he was, my friends did not. Whether this was intended to cause a schism between the viewers I don't know, but we all agreed this was an accurate portrayal of addiction and the title is almost as beautiful as the song Gary's soul sung.

Picture this: a drab world in lower middle class mediocrity filled with drugs and a family so disgusted with you they only laugh. However Gary is so frustrated and disgusted with himself life is a tedious hell. He then commits a terrible crime, almost as an afterthought, next door of all places, and unable to live with himself he attempts to change his life around in a way that's just as aimless as his drug use. He has no plan. People don't trust him, his drug buddies mock him just like his family, and he has this nagging guilt, stabbing at times with little reminders.

But he keeps moving ahead, pulling his old bmx out of the garage for his nephew. Offering to babysit while his sister works which takes some convincing given his track record. Through all of these gestures there are moments of elation always punctuated by distress from the terrible crime he committed and his inability to break free of his past. But even with his seemingly dejected nature, he won't stop, and the film crescendos in what is aptly called A Song of Good.

While on initial appearances, it looks like Gary might go haywire, but this isn't the case. It might also look like nothing special, displaying a translated American indy style, but I assure you it is. The storyline and the acting were superb all around although there were some complaints about the ending. This is definitely a kiwi gem and I would recommend this to anyone who goes for the type of films we showcase here at Quiet Earth. Now let's hope it gets distribution.

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