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“Soft Like Me” is a strange if not intriguing film from Canada. While the setting, clothing styles, etc. suggest a 1930s time frame, you are left with the impression that this film could also be about a dismal futuristic time. While the movie seems simple enough, one will realize that after watching it that there are many questions that are left unanswered.
At the beginning of the film we see a young boy of about 13 who is chained to a porch on the front of a shack in the middle of a bunch of wheat fields. A man comes and takes him into the cabin where he is introduced to the warden. Apparently Linus (Mark Ducusin) is now an inmate at some kind of work farm. What his crime was is never revealed. He is informed by the warden that all will go well at the farm as long as he obeys the rules. If he doesn’t…well… he’ll get to meet someone else who isn’t as nice as the warden.
All the boys on the farm work from sunup till sundown cutting wheat and tying it into sheaths. The boys wear nothing but shorts, a leather harness, and a wooden mouthpiece that prevents them from being able to speak. During the daytime the harness is used to tie them to poles by long ropes so they can’t escape, and at night they are hoisted up by pullies so that they are forced to sleep in a standing position with only their toes touching the ground.
Every night one of the guards comes and leads Jimmy (Geoff Thompson) off and then brings him back in the morning. He is taken to visit the warden, who sometimes gets lonely, the other boys inform Linus. On some nights a boy is taken away, never to be seen again.
While all the other boys have given up of ever escaping, or being set free, Linus still holds onto that one small piece of hope he has buried deep within. Is it something he should hold onto, or is what the other boys say really true: With hope comes punishment?
This film was directed by Jeff Erbach who also directed “The Nature of Nicholas”.
write by Farley