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Tough subject mattter easy to watch

December 3, 2012

Heirlooms are destroyed. Keepsakes are stolen. The world “DEATH” is spray-painted on the wall. Police arrive in time to catch one of the vandals, a teen punk named Dane (David Arial). The damaged home’s owner, Grace Ross (Monique Marcker), who, thankfully, was not home when the break-in occurred, is too frightened to return to her home.

Her son, Tom (David Gillies), is beyond furious, and his anger only escalates when he learns that Dane’s case has been turned over to restorative justice worker Nessa (Cherissa Richards), whose job — with the Rosses’ reluctant input — is to force Dane to confront the consequences of his actions, take responsibility for the crime, and propose a solution that will be just for all concerned.

Tom, an old-school thinker, is having none of it — “Why should HE benefit from anything?” he seethes when Nessa explains the concept. “He got caught red-handed; lock him up!”

If Tom is an obstacle to the restorative justice process, Dane’s mother, Marjorie (Andraea Sartison), is simply a hindrance. The survivor of an abusive marriage that she clearly believes should excuse all her parental shortcomings and all Dane’s criminal misbehaviour, she has allowed the case to go to restorative justice because, well, it’s easier, and it might prevent her son from carrying a criminal record into adult life.

But of course, it isn’t easy. Through a series of meetings that bring the two families face to face, Dane is, indeed, forced to think hard about the human consequences of his heartless vandalism. In the end, the system works, and Dane is a changed person.

Read the whole review.


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