A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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SUNSHINE STATE
2002 - John Sayles - United States
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John Sayles is a pioneer for American Independent filmmaking. For years he’s 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 audience’s 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).
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