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George Washington

One of the most interesting American independent films for some time, George Washington is an assured and very beautiful debut feature by the young David Gordon. The captivating story of a group of (mainly black) children on the verge of adulthood, the film is an eloquent portrait of kids in a poor, rural town in North Carolina. During an innocent game one languid summer, an accidental killing finds the youngsters caught up in a tragic lie. Forced to confront a tangle of difficult choices, they struggle to be true to themselves and discover what it takes to be an American hero.
Beautifully shot in wide-screen, Gordon’s film is not another exercise in social realism. On the contrary, with its poetic voice-over commentary and carefully composed images, the film recalls the work of Terrence Malick. But, as Edward Lawrenson noted in Sight and Sound, the film ‘is more than a catalogue of alluring pictures. Its lovingly fashioned lyricism approximates the wide-eyed sensibilities of its child protagonists. Eliciting understated, almost deadpan performances from his largely non-professional cast, Green displays an ear for the faltering rhythms of adolescent speech along with a remarkable empathy for his young characters.’
U.S.A., 200. Colour. Anamorphic. 89 min.

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