THE GOOD BOY – A. L. Lee ( United States, 2015) 14’55”


A morality tale, “the good boy” is a film about a young boxer who accepts a challenge to fight a brute of a man only to discover his opponent has the mental capacity of a five year old. This is an unflinching look at what happens when you feel honor bound to doing something you know is morally wrong. “the good boy” is about the decisions we make and living with their consequences.


Director bio: A. L. Lee received an MFA in screenwriting from Columbia University. Her screenplay “The Legend of Pig-Eye”, which is an adaptation of the short story with the same title by Rick Bass, won the top prize in the Columbia University Screenwriting Awards.

She originally trained as a violinist at the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory.

She live in New York City with her husband, two sons and two cats.

Director statement: I’d been studying the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski (Double Life of Veronique, Dekalog, Blue, White Red) when I was writing “the good boy”. Watching those masterpieces, you can’t help but think about moral dilemmas. Why do people knowingly decide to do something that they know is morally wrong?

I started to watch my own actions and the actions of my friends. I realized that it’s easy for most people to do the right thing if they believe they don’t have much at stake. But it’s just as easy for people to convince themselves that what’s at stake is more than what they’re willing to pay. Honor, loyalty, money, religion and even love are used on micro and global levels to justify our actions; even actions we know are morally abhorrent.

For Cal, the young boxer, what’s at stake is his deal with Ray. “No losin’, no forfeitin’.” He feels honor bound to Ray. The stake for Quinny is more tragic because what he wants is the love and respect of his step-father and the patrons of their bar. I wanted to explore the consequence of a room full of people, one after another, deciding to do what they know is morally wrong and how they justify their decisions to themselves.