Release Date: January 06, 2014
Starring: Joshua Zirger, Reggie Willis,
Holly Walker, Tyler
Middendorf, Whitney Cornelius,
Jim Dougherty, Cameron Jamarr
Davis, Eric L. Housley II,
Romeo Armand Seay
Audience: Older children and adults
Runtime: 78 minutes
Distributor: Bridgestone Multimedia Group
Director: Brad Wise
Executive Producer: Philip Sarnecki
Producer: Joe Boyd, Brad Wise, Jim
Nyberg, Isaac Stambaugh
Writer: Brad Wise, Isaac Stambaugh
Address Comments To:David Cota, Executive Vice President, Bridgestone Multimedia Group
804 North 2nd Avenue
E. Rock Rapids, IA 51246
Phone: (866) 774-3774; Website: www.gobmg.com
Josh is a Caucasian moving to a predominantly African American neighborhood of middle class families. He is setting the house in order while his wife is out-of-town for the weekend on business. The neighborhood and yards are fairly well taken kept, but Josh is told that the neighborhood is still considered a dangerous, at-risk neighborhood. However, Josh likes the house, the neighbors and the price was affordable because of the location.
When Josh calls to have a pizza delivered that evening, he has to call more than one pizza place and is told that they won’t deliver to his address. Thinking that that is ridiculous because it’s not even dark yet, he drives to pick up the pizza. Later that night, while asleep on his couch, he’s startled awake by what sounds like a gunshot.
The next day Josh asks his neighbor George if he heard it. George lets him know it was a gunshot. George has very little to say and tells his wife Josh’s “type” won’t stay too long in a neighborhood like theirs. To George’s surprise, Josh continues to want to live in the neighborhood, despite the sentiments of his family and his wife’s friends who say living in this neighborhood is a bad idea.
A series of events begin to change Josh’s mind that maybe he did indeed make a mistake in moving to this particular neighborhood. He finds a white package in the grass at the side of his house that he thinks may be cocaine. He goes for a jog and when he drops his money, a group of the neighborhood’s teenage boys come after Josh. Josh assumes they’re coming to start a fight when they were just giving Josh the money he dropped. The teenagers are offended and walk away.
When Josh returns home, George shows him that the “cocaine” in his yard that Josh is afraid to touch is nothing more than a pack of pampers. Later, Josh’s brother comes by to cheer him up. For a joke, the brother puts on some sagging ripped up jeans, a blue bandanna, and takes out a 40 oz. bottle of alcohol. While the brother thinks this is hilarious, Josh thinks it’s stupid and highly offensive. Before he can get his brother to put away his gangsta props and costumes, the neighborhood teenagers Josh offended earlier come by and an altercation ensues. George breaks up the argument, but all the neighbors, including George, leave offended.
Josh begins packing to leave, but makes one more attempt to prove he’s not a racist and make amends. Will it work?
FENCED OFF is a fairly good movie with some entertainment value. In the storyline, Josh, the central character, has a really bad day with the circumstances and people around him. His character goes through a character arc from loving his home, to being mildly concerned about living there, to fights with the neighbors and deciding to leave, to returning to a sense of peace about his new home. Through it all, Josh doesn’t dislike his neighbors. Meanwhile, George goes from not being particularly fond of Josh to finally accepting him as his neighbor and perhaps new friend.
FENCED OFF has a strong moral worldview revealing the unnecessary and offensive nature of racial prejudice. There’s also a light redemptive theme as both George and Josh learn to forgive and accept one another. A lot of the subject matter may go over the heads of children, however. FENCED OFF also has some minor drug references, but no foul language or salacious content.
FENCED OFF is a fairly good drama with some entertainment value. With only a few minor questionable elements, the movie has a strong moral worldview revealing the unnecessary and offensive nature of racial prejudice. FENCED OFF also has a light Christian theme as two men learn to forgive and accept one another. A lot of the subject matter may go over the heads of younger children, however. FENCED OFF also has some minor drug references and tense confrontations.