Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 2005
USA: Upstate Films / Shadow Distribution
Cast: Sean Farrell, Ralph Arlyck, Johnny Farrell, Susie Farrell, Elisabeth Cardonne-Arlyck, Zhanna, Hon Brown, Archie Brown, Debbie Farrell, Kevin Arlyck, Matthew Arlyck, Alex
Director: Ralph Arlyck
Countries: France / USA
Languages: French / English
USA: 87 mins
USA Release Date: 13 January 2006 (Limited Release - San Francisco)


Filmmaker Ralph Arlyck first met Sean while living as a graduate student in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury neighborhood at the height of the 1960s.

The city was awash with the trappings of America's cultural revolution—the San Francisco State University campus flooded with cops in riot gear, the Haight filled with drifters and idealists, and, on the third floor of Arlyck's building, a come-one-come-all crashpad apartment. It was from this top floor commune that the precocious 4-year-old Sean would occasionally wander downstairs to visit and talk—and one day Arlyck turned on his camera.

Sean's casual commentary on everything from smoking pot to living with speed freaks was delivered with wide-eyed sincerity throughout the soon-to-be famous 15-minute film. This First Child of the notorious decade may have shaken the audience with his simple sentence— "Sure, I smoke pot"—but it was his barefoot impishness and confidence which seemed to encapsulate the mood of the time: a promise of infinite possibility.

Thirty years, three generations, and a lifetime later, Arlyck has returned to San Francisco in search of who the adult Sean may have become. And what he finds, to his surprise, tells him as much about his own east-coast migration as it does about the Californian life he left behind—that the choices we're handed and the choices we make are, very often, quite odd bedfellows.

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