Sweet Old World
Filmed in the real world of the South Pasadena High School marching band, Sweet Old World is the story of a father’s grief and the son who frees him. The lives of Brian Hinkle and his teenage son Ethan were shattered eight years ago when Ethan’s ten-year-old brother Michael was tragically killed while playing with a friend, Jimmie, on railroad tracks. Brian, once a successful photographer, is still consumed by his own private grief and pain. Divorced from Ethan’s mother, he spends his time obsessively photographing trash by railroad tracks and on the edges of the city. And Ethan, now sixteen and a talented musician in the school marching band, is heading for Julliard. Their weekends together are an exercise in painful disconnect as their relationship has grown strained and cold over the years. Under a cloud of suspicion, Jimmie had disappeared with his family immediately after the accident. When he reappears at school eight years later and joins the marching band, Ethan and Brian’s carefully constructed protective shells begin to crumble. Jimmie is a wild and reckless kid. He befriends Ethan, drawing him into his dangerous world. Feeling like his lost brother has returned, Ethan relishes this new friendship while Brian is stunned by Jimmie’s return and begins following and secretly photographing the two of them. When Ethan finally confronts Jimmie to learn the truth about how his brother died, it sets off a string of events that bring father and son to the brink of disaster and the potential for a new life and relationship. With the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship, award winning documentary filmmaker David Zeiger drew from his own life to create this unique and riveting family drama.
Starring John Nielsen, Jacques Colimon, Gwendolyn Oliver
Director David Zeiger