Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1997
Country: Canada
Run Time: 93 minutes

He's monolithic. Built like a tank. A huge black guy from the seedy side of town, rolling down the pavement with his homeboy, a scary, two-main posse. If you met Junior Brown in a dark ally, what could you talk about? Try Chopin. Or Rachmaninoff. Fats Waller. For Junior Brown is a teen musical prodigy, a natural artist phsychically attuned ot the pianos he often dwarfs. Massively obese, yet childlike, gentle and fragile, Junior plays entire concerts furtively, in his head (a necessity, since his ailing, controlling mother cut the strings of the upright in his bedroom). But Junior Brown's talent has been recognized, not by social workers or teachers, but by abused and runaway street kids, a school janitor, a neighborhood madwoman, all of whom form a loose chorus of support for this rare, phenomenal child. We are proud to present Clement Virgo's ("Rude," 20th CIFF, 1996) second symphony, an adagio of images and themes which, while based on a Newbery-winning young-adult novel, speaks to all audiences, of any age, who can discern perfect pitch. Or a cry of need.

Cameron Bailey, Clement Virgo (based on the novel by Virginia Hamilton)

Clement Virgo

Eric Jordan, Paul Stephens

Jonathan Freeman

Susan Maggi

Principal Cast
Martin Villafana, Rainbow Sun Francks, Lynn Whitfield, Sarah Polley, Margot Kidder

Film Contact
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