Jan 29, 2012

Sleepers, 1996

Sleepers, 1996
Director: Barry Levinson
Cast: Brad Pitt, Robert de Niro, Kevin Bacon, Dustin Hoffmann, Minnie Driver, Jason Patric

Sleepers in short:
Four boys growing up in Hell's Kitchen play a prank that leads to an old man getting hurt. Sentenced to no less than one year in the Wilkenson Center in upstate New York, the four friends are changed by the beating, humiliation and sexual abuse by the guards sworn to protect them. Thirteen years later and a chance meeting lead to a chance for revenge against the Wilkenson Center and the guards.

Preps: None in perticular. The cast is astounding. The director is one of my favourites. And I have naturally watched this earlier, as a child. Admired it at that time, I am sure I will even more now with a critical eye.

Reality: I am right. This is one of better bitter stories ever being put on screen. I believe Levinson is a genious and a coragious man to put this live. Still, the US government and all similar facilities, deny that such places exist, such actions ever could take place and that there wasn't a trial as depicted in the movie.
Well, the story will rip your bones off. It is breathtaking and it makes you shiver with fear and horror all along the way. Violence creates violence. Put normal boys into a facility of correction, juvenile home or something, abuse them and be sure they will grow up to be criminals, most of them.
The sad story revolves around four boys being taken into a facility for a homicide they commited unintentionally. And the abuse they were submitted to, it is just horrible. Their commitment never to speak about that part of their lives is broken when two former boys, now adults, have the chance to take the revenge with a guy that raped them. So they kill them and are put into trial.
The trial isn't about the killing, it's about revenge to the facility that abused them while they were taken in for a year in their childhood. And they get the revenge, with style.
The cast is magnificent. The story is breathtaking. The director did his work and it shivers me even now as I write about it. A must see for any person. It will make you fear of such institutions and make you never do wrong in a way you would get into a facility like that. It will make you hate those that abuse children, even more. And will make you think about the sacrifice you are willing to take for the ones you love. The priest treads on his values or virtues to help the kids get the revenge they want. The truth, even though not admitted by the government, is out and it should be. In a fair world, such things wouldn't go unpunished. And no kids would die on streets with 29. But that is in fairy tales. We live in a no dream world. And need to take it seriously, for it's a place for filth and abuse. You see this undoubtfully in this piece. It will tear down your heart.

My personal rate: 8,5
(splendid piece that makes you think way beyond its purpose and content. It makes you cry in your heart and feel with the characters. Not many pieces do that to you).

Sleepers on IMDB

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