MovieChat Forums > Shotgun StoriesĀ (2007) Discussion > Turning Point in Plot -- SPOILER WARNING

Turning Point in Plot -- SPOILER WARNING


This is only for folks who have seen the film (I saw it at the IFC Center in Manhattan and I anticipate it'll show up on IFC On Demand on digital cable).


I have a question about what makes the brothers finally stoop the violence. I realize that the basketball coach brother was always the more peaceful one. But was it seeing his enemy's kids with him in the backyard? Was that his turning point? Or something else?

I loved the film but I didn't quite see that internal climax happen that finally made him want to step forward and stop the eye for an eye stuff from going on and on. It is so unusual to see a film where a nonviolent act is the climax that I wanted that point to be stronger -- or maybe I missed it (I saw it with a restless audience that kept going in and out, either to answer phones or go to the rest room or something so I might have gotten distracted).


From what I gather it was a combination of two things, both from seeing the kids in the backyard. Forgive me for being too lazy to look up the characters' names at the moment.

1) Seeing the kids humanized the other, middle-class family. Whereas before it would have been easy to demonize them as embodiments of disappointment and bitterness, seeing the children put them in a human context.

2) Obviously no one was going to kill any children, however, it brought on the epiphany that the feud wasn't just about them. Once again, it was easy to embrace the violence in the context that it was just the contemporary generation; i.e. Boy, Kid, and Son vs. their half-brothers. However, at the moment in the backyard there was the realization that the next generation would carry it over and it would just continue perpetually or until everyone was dead if it wasn't put to a stop.

Have to say again, excellent film. Sorry if it was confusing without all the character's names in there.


I was suprised myself about the turning point/ending where it actually ended peacefully. I didnt realize it until now that about 95% of revenge movies always have a "no one wins", or the main character kills everyone....not this movie, which I really quite liked.

But yea, I thought it was pretty clear when he wanted to end it, since he saw this would go on forever (the enemy's kids would want to take revenge...etc.)


Yeah, I tend to agree with you guys. It seemed like when he walked into Cleaman's yard, shotgun in hand, and noticed the kids run out, it changed his perspective. Boy was always the more peaceful one, but he was trying to "protect his brother" now the same way Son did for him while they were younger. Killing Cleaman would only send the other two brothers (John and Steven) after Boy and Son, and perhaps extending into their extended family (Annie and Carter).

It was a realization that this was a fight that, unless stopped, can't be won by either side. They would just keep killing or injuring another brother or family member until each family was stripped down to it's bare. Whoever was left living would have had to deal with the blood on their hands with the brothers lost.

It was a somewhat surprising ending given what had happened up until that point, but certainly a welcome one.


Kid is already dead then, remember, as is Mark, the most aggressive of the other brothers.
Even so the change of mind has been prepared: in the first encounter Boy doesn't get involved- Son tells him that he isn't to back out of a fight again. There's also the irony that Boy doesn't know Mark killed Henry- would be he more vengeful if he knew his dog had been killed?


You got the turning point right but I think the primary reason is different. He saw kids, and he thought about his future. He said it before in the film. He even restates in in the scene where he goes back to their backyard. Something like" "You got 2 boys yourself, my brother's got a kid...someday I'm gonna have my own."


I agree that he saw Clemens' kids and realized it would go on until one family was left standing. This was sort of foreshadowed earlier in the movie when Boy and Kid were talking basketball strategy. Kid suggested full-court man2man (a very aggressive defense), and Boy said, no he would do a zone (a more passive defense...for the most part; not going to get into a whole match-up zone, triangle-and-2 debate), and that he didn't have the depth to go man2man. With only the three brothers and 1 nephew/son, they were already outnumbered (lacking depth) to compete with the other brothers who already had 4 brothers and 2 sons/nephews.


Excellent comment, egtuna.

My take is that the dropping of violence would be temporary.

Especially with the one most aggressive brother (the ugliest one) of the other family still alive.


Doubt it, notice the scene where he get's the tractor going. The tractor was the one his now dead brother was helping him with, so in fixing one can see that he gained a measure of peace, it was something he had to remember his brother and something to work on.

There is also the negative connotation with guns the youngest brothers have. It was the snake which they didn't shoot which resulted in their brothers death.

They two younger brothers have now a more peaceful rolemodel in their oldest brother.


My take is that the dropping of violence would be temporary

Yeah, that's my view too. The way the film emphasised the inter-generational nature of the conflict, the hope Boy sees in mutual focus on the next generation as a means of resolving their differences could just as easily prove to be what sustains the conflict.

The final scene looks like a pastoral idyll with the kid playing at their feet, but intrusive noise of highway traffic off camera is a reminder that forces they can't control and problems that can't be fixed are always there in the background and can break their silence at any minute - in the same way Boy's malfunctioning tape deck does.