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What to know: Well produced.
HI, DAD is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 13-18
5 minutes
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Right away this film makes you wonder if the young boy, Billy (Parker Mednikow) is responsible for the fire. Did he set it? He does not look too stunned while watching the building burn in front of him. Confused voices in the background add to the mystery of what has happened. At home in his room, the boy is surrounded by dinosaurs and other toys as well as a wall full of drawings. Some of the pictures depict fires, flames and fire trucks. He talks to his absentee dad. It is clear Billy admires and misses his real dad. His mother's boyfriend Ben is a jerk and speaks harshly about Billy - loud enough for Billy to overhear. Billy had a penchant for playing with fire. What are his motivations? What stands out to me in this film is how Billy displays anger about his dad, tearing up what seems to be notes he wrote to his dad, or drawings that depicted his dad's heroic acts as a fireman. My favorite part is when Billy sets a piece of paper on fire inside his house, after hearing Ben disrespecting him behind closed doors. It seems as if Billy is going to get Ben's goat. But what about possibly hurting his mom? Maybe he blames his mom for his dad being gone. The message of the film is how important it is for kids, as they reach a mature age, to find out what has happened to a missing (biological) parent. Kids can be tormented by not knowing and may resort to drastic measures to discover the truth. Parents should also address signs of pathological behavior, such as careless playing with fire. Ignoring abnormal behavior can lead to drastic results. Kids have vivid imaginations that can cause them to do strange and dangerous things. Foul language from adults is also a bad influence on kids. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 17. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
This film is about a young boy who thinks his father was a fireman, so now he is taking it into his own hands to find his father by setting fires.
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