4 out of 5 Stars!
In the final part of our Hot Docs 2011 previews, Andrew Parker takes a look at Open Secret, Wild Horse, Wild Ride, The Castle, and The Advocate for Fagdom.
Director: Steve Lickteig
NPR radio personality Steve Lickteig has been living with a terrible family secret his entire life that he was only awakened to by his best friends shortly after high school. Steve found out that his estranged “sister” Joanie was actually his mother, and that these people presenting themselves as his parents were actually his grandparents. It was a secret known by the entire community, but never to Steve. Lickteig is not a filmmaker, nor does he claim to be, but the raw emotion of the second half of this film where Steve confronts not only his biological mother, but also his own feelings, is really powerful stuff. The final scene is something that could never happen in a scripted film and adds to the feeling of uneasiness. Just possibly, as Steve’s fiancee says, not everything will end up being okay. A great look at not only families, but also mental illness, generational gaps, the nature of a well intentioned lie, and forgiveness. Makes for a great double bill with Bob and the Monster since Bob Forrest had a similar familial upbringing.
Rating (out of five stars): ****