Parents' Guide to

Unstrung Heroes

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Quietly moving story of a boy dealing with loss.

Movie PG 1995 93 minutes
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Based on the autobiographical novel by sportswriter Franz Lidz, Unstrung Heroes is a quietly moving story of a boy growing up in the midst of incomprehensible loss. Perhaps it is the very incomprehensibility of it all that makes his uncles seem understandable by comparison. Or perhaps they just have a less frightening way of being impossible to understand. To Steven, they are almost like children, and they have time for him, which his parents don't. They have answers for him, which no one else does. They see him as "Franz" and "Franz" is who he decides he wants to be.

This is a movie about loss, but more than that it is a movie about families, and the acceptance of family members who are not always easy to understand. The movie also raises the question of faith. Sid is relentlessly scientific and is furious that his brothers have encouraged Franz to study Judaism. He tells them that "religion is a crutch, only cripples need crutches." But Franz's mother, dying, says maybe Franz is right.

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