Sayles is a pioneer for American Independent filmmaking. For
years hes made his films, entirely the way he chooses.
His films are often ambitious, thought-provoking, meaningful,
multi-layered studies of people and or characters. He prefers
people over plot, and respects his audiences attention
and intelligence. He is a deeply caring and liberal filmmaker.
Sunshine State shares all of Sayles qualities as a filmmaker
and is recommend to those who are or aren't familiar with
his work. The entire ensemble cast is outstanding here and
should be applauded (Bill Cobbs, Mary Alice, and Angela Bassett
are particularly excellent). There are some complex and multi-leveled
themes to Sunshine State, many of which are political but
most are simply examinations of human nature. Sunshine State
is not good people against bad people but rather human growth,
as Sayles relies on a sympathetic and honest view of his characters.
He finds a great understanding in humanity in this reflective
film on capitalism, and the lingering presence of slavery
in a small Florida community. There is such truth, heartbreak,
and beauty to this film without ever being forceful or heavy-handed.
This belongs mention among the best films of Sayles career
(with City of Hope, Lone Star and Matewan).