Best Boy (1979)

Family and time are the foci of this intensely moving documentary currently marking its 35th anniversary. Filmmaker Ira Wohl spent four years following his elderly aunt and uncle as they dealt with the need to create a future for their mentally challenged son, Philly. Originally, Wohl had simply set out to help Philly become more independent. Two days before Philly’s first meeting with a neurologist to determine exactly what his potential for independent living was, Wohl decided to film the encounter. Within a day, Wohl realized that this was a story he needed to tell, so he continued to document Philly’s growing independence and his development of an extended family of caregivers, as well as the effect this had on his family relationships. BEST BOY (1979) was met with glowing reviews and won the Oscar® for Best Documentary. It inspired a sequel, Best Man (1997), focusing on Philly’s life in a group home and the preparations for his Bar Mitzvah.

Dir. Ira Wohl

In attendance: Ira Wohl