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Stevie

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Overview

In the early '80s, Steve James was a student at Southern Illinois University who volunteered for the local Big Brother program and served as a mentor for Stephen Dale Fielding (Stevie for short), a troubled 11-year-old boy with unhappy family relationships. Given up by his mother when her husband decided he didn't want him in the house, Stevie was primarily raised by his step-grandmother and had already begun to reveal a stubborn and easily distracted personality when he met James. After he graduated from ...
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Overview

In the early '80s, Steve James was a student at Southern Illinois University who volunteered for the local Big Brother program and served as a mentor for Stephen Dale Fielding (Stevie for short), a troubled 11-year-old boy with unhappy family relationships. Given up by his mother when her husband decided he didn't want him in the house, Stevie was primarily raised by his step-grandmother and had already begun to reveal a stubborn and easily distracted personality when he met James. After he graduated from college, James lost contact with Fielding, but in 1995, after James had gone on to a career as a documentary filmmaker (and won acclaim for his film Hoop Dreams), he was reintroduced to Stevie, only to learn that his life had taken a number of wrong turns. After a number of scrapes with the law and on-going battles with his family, Fielding had been charged with molesting his eight-year-old cousin, and he'd opted for a trial (which could lead to a twenty year prison sentence) rather than receive counseling, due in part to his experiences in a mental hospital. James and his wife (who counsels sex offenders) wanted to offer Stevie whatever help they could, and James opted to make a film about him, hoping to discover where Stevie's life and gone wrong and how his tragic turn of fate could have been prevented. At the same time, James (like many others in Stevie's life) began to wonder what they could have done, and to what degree they let him down, with James torn between his feelings for his friend and his need to portray all sides honestly. Featuring interviews with Fielding, his family, and his friends, the documentary Stevie examines how society's safety net failed to catch one young man before it was too late. Stevie was shown in competition at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Production commentary; Unused footage
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Steve James' documentary Stevie is a discomfiting, but laudably honest film about an accused child molester and the filmmaker's efforts to understand the forces that shaped him. Painfully intimate, Stevie is as much about the filmmaker's responsibility toward the young man as it is about Stephen Fielding's life. But from the opening epigram from William Faulkner, it's increasingly questionable how much James' belated return to his subject's life can help Fielding. Much to his and the film's credit, James acknowledges his sense of futility, even questioning his own motives in bringing Fielding's story to the screen. Certainly, Stevie is a compelling story, about a type of person we never see treated seriously and compassionately in American movies. James' feelings of responsibility toward his subject offer us a way in -- a way of seeing past Fielding's seemingly hopeless present to the mistreated child he once was. The film reaches a nadir of despair as a "friend" of Fielding's, who claims to belong to the Aryan Brotherhood, tells Fielding and James about the horrific type of treatment Fielding can expect in prison if he's convicted of child molestation. But there are also very moving glimpses of hope and happiness in Fielding's life, from the surprisingly clear-eyed devotion of his girlfriend, Tonya Gregory, to the incredible patience and forgiveness of his sister, Brenda Hickam, and her husband, Doug. When James brings Fielding to meet with a couple who were once his foster parents, perhaps the only decent caretakers Fielding ever had in his life, their unconditional compassion sparks the troubled young man's regression to a relatively carefree state, and it's heartbreaking. James doesn't pretend to offer solutions to any of the problems his film addresses, but in offering a glimmer of hope for Fielding's soul, the filmmaker performs a useful and humane task.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/9/2003
  • UPC: 658149816824
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Time: 2:25:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 78,465

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Stephen Dale Fielding
Verna Hagler
Bernice Hagler
Brenda Hickam
Doug Hickam
Tonya Gregory
Steve James
Technical Credits
Steve James Director, Editor, Producer
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
Jim Fetterley Sound/Sound Designer
Peter Gilbert Cinematographer
William Haugse Editor
Dana Kupper Cinematographer
Robert May Executive Producer
Dirk Powell Score Composer
Gordon Quinn Cinematographer, Executive Producer, Producer
Adam Singer Producer, Sound/Sound Designer
Tom Yore Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Title [6:46]
2. Meeting Tanya [1:42]
3. Judy Talks to Stevie [3:19]
4. Stevie in Jail [8:06]
5. Asking for Bail [2:54]
6. Bernice and Wendy [8:25]
7. Foster Homes [10:14]
8. The Public Defender [4:33]
9. Fishin' [5:03]
10. Trying for a Baby [8:12]
11. Surgery for Brenda [9:26]
12. Stevie's Present [10:16]
13. Seeing Chicago [17:34]
14. Trouble Continues [4:15]
15. Stevie's Neighbors [5:00]
16. Saved by God [6:16]
17. Hal and Dorinda [8:33]
18. A New Job [2:23]
19. Little Brother [2:05]
20. Rattlesnake Hill [:47]
21. A New Face [6:02]
22. Sentencing [1:57]
23. Saying Goodbye [7:03]
24. End Credits [4:25]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Index
   Subtitles
      English On/Off
      Spanish On/Off
   Special Features
      Commentary With Director Steven James On/Off
      Deleted Scenes
         Stevie and the Electric Poles
         Visit to Bald Knob Cross and Verna's Church
         Public Defender's View on Altruism
         Stevie's Escape Plan
         Stevie Visits Beth Before Sentencing
         Play All
   Lions Gate Home Entertainment
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Sundance Injustice

    Some films do not rightly get recognized. As Steve James (filmmaker of Hoop Dreams) shows a more personal side of his life, he rekindles a relationship with a troubled young man he used to know through the Big Brother program. Stephen Fielding, "Stevie," for short is a tragic and ultimately an unredeeming figure. Shows an excellenct documentation of what sexual predators are without the sensationalism of mainstream docs. I felt sorry for Stephen as I think many of the more authentic people felt for him, including the victim's mother (who I tremendously respect for her courage in talking not just about the horror Stephen endured but that also of her daughter.) Tremendous contribution to the mental health community, if they want it. Ultimately, the most horrible consequences for what Stevie did was what he didn't do.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews