A young man is released from prison after many years and given a new identity in a new town. Aided by a supervisor who becomes like a father to him he finds a job and friends and hesitantly starts a relationship with a compassionate girl. But the secret of the heinous crime he committed as a boy weighs down on him, and he learns that it is not so easy to escape your past. Written by
Peter Brandt Nielsen
This movie hearkens back to the great working class British film dramas of the 1960s. Inspired, I believe, by an actual crime of about a decade ago, in which one child killed another child, the movie provocatively imagines the life of the killer many years afterward. At one point the protagonist is called a monster by a character who has never met him. I was reminded of the cover of a major news magazine at the time of the Columbine massacre, which featured a picture of the adolescent killers with the caption "monsters." I thought to myself that, however disturbed, these are still human beings more like than unlike the rest of us, and what does it say about the rest of us if we deny their humanity and refuse to look at the source of their disturbance? This is the very starting point of "Boy A" and the conclusions it reaches about "the rest of us" are bleak. This is a deeply, disturbingly sad movie. I found it intensely involving, and intensely moving. However, if you watch it, be prepared for a vision of humanity so dark that the most humane character in the story is a murderer.
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