Family Tree

on April 21, 2000 by Dwayne E. Leslie
Periodically, childhood landmarks are torn down and memories are lost forever. This encouraging tale will hit viewers deep and resonate triumphantly, especially among those who wish they could have done what nine-year-old Mitch Musser (Andrew Lawrence) does for his neighborhood. When his father, Henry (Robert Forster), is chosen to spearhead the negotiations with Benjamin Plastics to open a plant in their town, nobody foresees that for the community to become economically stable, a tree nicknamed "Old Oak" has to be cut down. For generations, Old Oak has been used by children as a playground and has provided a place for others to reflect. But the desperate need for jobs outweighs the citizens' desire to save the tree. Feeling that anything worth having is worth fighting for, Mitch defiantly starts a one-boy campaign with hopes of saving his best friend.

   Not only is this film for a nostalgic audience who remembers what it is like to watch a part of one's childhood destroyed by progressive augmentation, but also for troubled preteens who feel alienated because of their altered views. It shows that with a lot of determination, the underdog can prevail in the midst of jealousy, greed and sibling rivalry. Starring Andrew Lawrence, Robert Forster, Cliff Robertson and Naomi Judd. Directed by Duane Clark. Written by Paul Canterna. Produced by Mike Curb and Carole Curb Nemoy. An Independent Artists release. Family. Rated G. Running time: 90 Minutes

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