Foster Care In The Movies
There have been several movies about kids in out of home placement, in other words, foster care. One of my favorites is Antwone Fisher. If you haven’t heard of, or seen this movie, go get it now. It stars, and is directed by Denzel Washinton, and features an excellent unknown actor by the name of Derek Luke.
Derek plays the part of Antwone, and Denzel is his therapist. It documents the life story of a young man who spends many years in foster care, and how he joins the Navy and then ends up confronting his former foster family and finding his biological family. It is based on a true story, and is very good. I have it on DVD, so if you’d like to borrow it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The DVD includes a featurette where you meet the real Antwone Fisher, and he tells about how he had to tell his story.
Another really good movie, this one a lot more light-hearted, is Secondhand Lions. It stars Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osment. Haley plays the part of Walter, who goes to live with his two uncles after his mom decides that she wants to do other things, and doesn’t have time for Walter.
Though Walter is in what is called a “relative placement”, it is still not his own home. This is an excellent story of a boy growing up in a less than perfect home situation, and how he becomes a great person despite the lack of parenting skills on his uncles’ part. It reminds me of a lot of foster kids out there, that are forced to take care of themselves at an early age, and are usually wise beyond their years. An awesome, and funny, movie. I also own this one (on DVD).
Those are my two favorite movies that have to do with foster care and/or out of home placements. There is another one that I have seen, but didn’t like as much, called White Oleander. You can rent that one if you want, and see what you think. As I recall, it was pretty accurate in portraying the foster care situation for some kids, but it wasn’t as well done as the other two movies I mentioned. Plus, I like more uplifting movies. This one was a lot darker, and explored the path that some kids take by using drugs because they are too afraid of what is going on.
Of course, there is the classic Bambi, where Bambi’s mom is killed and he has to go live with his friends Thumper and Flower. He was lucky enough to have great friends, and he turned out okay. Now it sounds like they are going to kill off his father in Bambi II. But that’s okay too, since he is a “big deer” now.
If you know of other good movies that deal with foster care and related issues, let me know, and I’ll post them in my blog. Thanks!