Following Sean | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Following Sean

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Documentary filmmaker Ralph Arlyck first won notice with his 15-minute short Sean (1969), a black-and-white portrait of a four-year-old ragamuffin who lived with his hippie parents in Haight-Ashbury. The little boy's on-screen declaration that he smoked pot made him a notorious symbol of 60s excess, yet when Arlyck returned to the west coast in 1994 to track him down, he found neither a drug addict nor a stockbroker, as many people had predicted, but a responsible, philosophical young man working as an electrician and preparing to start his own family. Shot over nine years, this 2005 feature opens out to consider not only Sean Farrell's parents and grandparents but Arlyck's parents and children, and what promises to be a standard postmortem on 60s ideology becomes a thoughtful essay on the choices we all make between work, family, and personal freedom. 88 min. Fri 6/23, 6 PM; Sat 6/24, 7 and 8:45 PM; Mon 6/26, 7:45 PM; and Tue 6/27, 8:15 PM; Gene Siskel Film Center.

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