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Candace Evanofski
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David Gordon Green.
David Gordon Green.
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George Washington
Determinedly offbeat study of impoverished youth in America from David Gordon Green

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A precocious African-American girl dumps her cocky boyfriend for George, a timid pre-teen who channels his presidential aspirations into being a traffic-directing superhero - in spite of the fact that his skull is so soft he risks death if he so much as gets it wet.

An accidental death and a hidden corpse provide the impetus for this determinedly offbeat study of impoverished youth. But David Gordon Green's debut is resolutely focused on character.

The performances are superb from a cast of young actors who cope beautifully with the blue-collar poetry that Green channels through them. These are lives that have dead-ended before they've had a chance to begin and Green deserves credit if nothing else, for daring to portray American childhood with such grim resignation.

Favourable comparisons have been made between this and the work of Terrence Malick, but a more obvious infuence would seem to be Charles Burnett's Killer Of Sheep. A lyrical, quirky and utterly absorbing film.It's an incredibly mature debut from Green, who was 25 when he put this together.

Poetic, patient and beautiful, it's an astoundingly mature film from 25 year old debutant director Green.

Reviewed by Patrick Peters

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