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Following Sean 2006

  • Ralph Arlyck
  • May 5, 2006
  • 87 mins
  • Documentary
The more things change, the more we're not the same
Filmmaker Ralph Arlyck first met Sean while living as a graduate student in Haight Ashbury at the height of the 1960s. The city was awash with the trappings of America’s cultural revolution-the San Francisco State University campus flooded with cops in riot gear, the Haight filled with drifters and idealists, and, on the third floor of Arlyck’s building, a come-one-come-all crashpad apartment. It was from this top floor commune that the precocious 4-year-old Sean would occasionally wander downstairs to visit and talk-and one day Arlyck turned on his camera. Sean’s casual commentary on everything from smoking pot to living with speed freaks was delivered in simple sincerity throughout the soon-to-be famous 15-minute film. This First Child of the notorious decade may have shaken the audience with his simple sentence- “Sure, I smoke pot”-but it was his barefoot impishness which would encapsulate the hope that lay in front of the nation: a promise of infinite possibility.

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