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A Year of Living Positively-Day 291

This evening’s movie was good. (“Cast No Shadow”, Christian Sparkes, Canada, 2014) It was an intense drama about a son of a petty criminal who is learning crime and violence as a way of life as he approaches adolescence. His coming of age is a socially and psychologically negative development. To me, the story shows how a community can set someone up to live a negative course of life, for almost everyone believes the boy is bad, rather than understanding him as a child going through pain and confusion in a tough situation. The community is against him because of his father’s reputation and gossip, so that everything he does is interpreted negatively and he is blamed even for situations in which he is a victim or that are beyond his control. He is thus branded, sealing his fate. A local police officer is biased and a bit hostile, though he says he wants to see the kid in a better lifestyle. That is his argument for recommending foster care. (We never see a representative of social services, though, which is a curious factor.) The boy is afraid of all adults and he is afraid of foster care, while his father wants him around mainly to do drug runs, etc. They are poor, and he has become a petty thief. He keeps trying to hide, and his fear and torment feed his imagination to make him dream of evil trolls lurking about. His troll mythology masks bad things he is doing and bad things happening around him and to him.

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