Parallel Sons Movie Review
Seth passes his time working down at the diner, and it's there that he's held up by an escaped con with the unlikely name of Knowledge Johnson (Laurence Mason). Knowledge is suffering from a gunshot wound, and after he faints, Seth spirits him off to a hidden family cabin to nurse him back to health. You get the impression that Knowledge is the first real black person Seth has ever seen.
At the same time, Seth is fending off the advances of Kristen (Heather Gottlieb), who doesn't seem to notice that all the magazine photos that decorate Seth's bedroom are of good-looking black men, not women. True love is blind. Seth kicks her out of bed -- literally -- and focuses all his energy on Knowledge.
Over time, the two develop a bond and share their feelings of isolation. No one understands you? Wow, no one understands me, either. Let's be friends and understand each other! But it won't be easy to hide a wanted black man in what may be the whitest small town in America. Once Kristen figures out what's going on, her jealousy and incipient psychosis puts Seth and Knowledge, who are quickly falling hard for each other, into serious danger.
Parallel Sons is the unlikeliest of love stories, and it races along toward an inevitable tragedy that's positively Shakespearian in its misery. You want these two good-hearted strivers to run away together, to make it to the Canadian border and build a new life in Toronto or something, but Young is realistic enough to know that such an ending wouldn't work in a movie that's very nicely grounded in its scenic, if oppressive, environs. Mann and Mason do what they can with the unusual relationship they must portray, and they're touching at times, but it becomes impossible to excuse the many bad decisions the young friends make on their doomed path to freedom.