The Education of Sonny Carson (1974)

The New York Times called SONNY CARSON “a Howling Brute of a Film,” with “A primal energy that imbues it with terrifying eloquence. This film possesses a very real beauty and power. Rich with the language of the streets, lyrical in a scene that captures the glowering twilight sky above the desolate landscape of tenements, pulsating in its documentation of the tribal rhythms of the gangs, hideous in its depiction of police and prison brutality, chilling in its revelation of the devastation wreaked by heroin, it derives its awesome force from what it insists on saying about the American experience.”

Variety said: “When the historical dust settles on the first wave of black oriented films, The Education of Sonny Carson should stand as one of the most outstanding of the genre. A rugged, uncompromising, yet thoughtful and sensitive film about the early life of a ghetto kid, superbly directed by Michael Campus. What Carson and Campus did was distill the battle of the soul down to the most basic elements: Sadness, disappointment, longing and fear.”

The Film
THE EDUCATION OF SONNY CARSON, starring Rony Clanton, Paul Benjamin and Mary Alice. THE EDUCATION OF SONNY CARSON is considered to the forerunner of BOYZ IN THE HOOD.

Acclaimed in its own right as a major motion picture of lasting impact, a scene from SONNY CARSON appears in the American Film Institute’s book, The One Hundred Most Memorable Moments in Film History. Mr. Campus was nominated for an NAACP Image Award as Best Director for SONNY CARSON.
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Birch Grove Films

Producer / Director Michael Campus
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