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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
The Grass Harp
Directed by Charles Matthau
New Line Home Video 10/96 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG - mild language, thematic elements
The Grass Harp is an exquisitely rendered screen version of Truman Capote's 1950 autobiographical novella set in the south during the 1940s. Eleven-year-old Collin (Edward Furlong) moves in with his two aunts after his mother dies. Verena (Sissy Spacek) owns half the stores in town and treats everyone like a servant. Dolly (Piper Laurie) is a shy, poetic soul who loves nature and has developed a herbal remedy which she brews, bottles, and distributes.
During a falling out between the two sisters, Dolly moves with Collin and her best friend to a tree house in the woods. Soon other free spirits join them. This wilderness experience serves as the boy's initiation into adulthood. The Grass Harp compels us to consider the bounties of nature and the spiritual virtues of freedom, love, individuality, and storytelling.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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