Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
This heart-rending documentary follows the lives of three troubled boys for an entire year as they undergo the Green Chimneys program. Established in 1947, the Green Chimneys program is housed upon a working farm in Brewster, New York. It is designed for severely disaffected inner city kids, many of whom have been abandoned or abused, and teaches them socialization skills by assigning each one an animal to nurture. When the film begins, there are over 100 children, mostly boys between the ages of 6 and 21, none of whom were able to cope within the foster home system. Twelve-year-old Eddie comes from a family of seven; he has been abused most of his life by his drug-addicted homeless parents and has been a part of the social service system since he was three. Thirteen-year-old Anthony cannot cope with his mother's death and has an uncontrollably violent temper. Mike is eleven years old. He has been in the foster care system since his mother abandoned him when he was two. Filmed as cinema verite, the story follows the boys through therapy, school, and their daily chores. It also chronicles family visits. These visits comprise some of the film's most wrenching scenes.
abandonment, abuse, socialization, teenagers