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Old 01-09-2006, 05:15 PM   #1
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'Country Boys' documentary airs tonight on PBS...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...&sn=004&sc=398
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Both boys have personal tragedies that are immense and clearly have taken an emotional toll, yet each kid allowed Sutherland unlimited access during a highly emotional coming-of-age period in their lives.

Chris, who gives "Country Boys" its most painfully honest moments, is locked in a cycle of repeating failure. He lives in a run-down trailer with his mother, Sheila, a bedraggled, droopy-eyed woman who dropped out of high school, had three kids and supports them by cleaning hotel rooms. She also supports -- and fights with -- her husband, Randall, an alcoholic who's so far gone when you first see him that you know immediately he can't do anything but drink. He certainly can't parent, or contribute -- yet Chris desperately wants his approval.

Chris was diagnosed with a learning disability that allows his family to receive a monthly Social Security check if he stays in school, something that proves extremely hard to do. In deep poverty, Chris acknowledges early on that his family lives for that check, but not so much for him.

Cody, on the other hand, is slightly more affluent and his living situation more stable, but his life is twisted by tragedy. His mother killed herself when he was a baby and his father ended up marrying seven times, the last time to a stripper whom he eventually killed onstage with a machine gun before turning it on himself. Cody, then 12, bounced around with family members before declaring he wanted to live with Liz, his step-grandmother (her daughter was wife No. 4 and Liz had a real fondness for Cody).

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Old 01-09-2006, 06:29 PM   #2
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Some people just have hard lives. It makes me so sad.
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