Review: Forgiving Johnny (SDIFF)


Title: Forgiving Johnny
Director: Ben Proudfoot
Starring: Noah Cox, Johnny Reyes, Elda Torres
Runtime: 19 mins

What It Is: Johnny, an individual with developmental disabilities who faced a 20-year prison sentence after an altercation with his brother-in-law, seeks help from Los Angeles County Public Defender Noah Cox.

What We Think: An excellent short documentary highlighting not just the struggles of people at a disadvantage, but how one case can start to make those struggles less burdensome with a digital helping hand. Forgiving Johnny not only focuses on its subject matter, Johnny – it also has a tad more to tell about the nature of forgiveness and its eventuality.

This short also shows the change that is currently underway in the LACPDO towards developmentally disabled people, getting rid of old methods and embracing the digital era we live in. Through the eyes of Noah Cox, we get to see these changes firsthand as he was the one who started to take advantage of them; there is also a personal story of his own that ties within the theme of forgiveness this story presents. By looking at Johnny’s family and knowing their past, the clear understanding and sympathy from Cox is anything but invisible, and it transmits to the viewer quite well also.

Our Grade: A; Hopeful and informative, Forgiving Johnny reminds us of the advantageous uses technology can have in bringing clarity to a stormy situation such as Johnny’s – now, much clearer.

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