Parallel Sons

on November 07, 1996 by Cathy Thompson-Georges
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   An unassuming film that tackles the thorny issues of race and sexual preference in an intimate way, "Parallel Sons" is simple but surprisingly thought-provoking. The film opens with an off-camera tragedy in the inner city, then moves to the green idyll of upstate New York. Here, Seth (Gabriel Mick) is fascinated by African-American culture and music--although he's never met a black. He gets his chance with an escaped convict, portentously named Knowledge (Laurence Mason). After a rocky start, the two come to a mutual understanding that incorporates both friendship and attraction--but their situation is a tenuous one, and events quickly move beyond their control.
   Although basing a film on an unlikely friendship is hardly original, "Parallel Sons'" writer/director John G. Young has a fine sense of the particular and provides richly developed characters. The film takes a far darker turn than audiences might expect as the meaning of its enigmatic title is revealed. Mick and Mason are both charismatic and believable young performers, and the film looks beautiful, thanks in part to its lush location. The introduction seems a little slight considering the tragedy that follows, but "Parallel Sons" is nonetheless a thoughtful effort, one that's likely to linger. Starring Gabriel Mick and Laurence Mason. Directed and written by John G. Young. Produced by James Spione and Nancy Larsen. A Greycat release. Drama. Unrated. Running time: 93 min.
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