Dogwood

A film by Christopher Maloney

About this film:

Dogwood is a drama set in rural America. Revolving around the quiet but poignant relationship between an elderly bus driver and a young boy who has been placed in a foster home, Dogwood is an intimate look at human friendships and our ability to change.

Charlie Greene is a 75-year-old school bus driver acutely aware of his dark past. His years spent as a violent alcoholic have left him with few friends, an estranged daughter, and a long-suffering wife. In recent years, he has attempted to turn a new leaf by attending church and kicking his drinking habit – but the guilt remains.

After driving the bus home one afternoon, he discovers a young boy named Rowan asleep in the back seat. Never having seen him before, he discovers that Rowan has recently been placed in a foster home nearby and will be riding Charlie's bus until he is placed in a permanent home.

Noting that the foster home Rowan lives in is in a rundown neighborhood and offers almost nothing to keep a boy entertained, Charlie begins taking Rowan home with him in the afternoons. They fish, take walks, and spend time talking – in short, they form a connection.

Over time, Charlie becomes Rowan's best friend and it becomes the desire of each of them for Rowan to stay with Charlie instead of being placed in another designated home. Charlie sees Rowan as his second chance at life, a chance to show kindness in hopes of erasing his misdeeds from the past. But as Charlie's past comes to light, it is made clear that his home is not ideal for Rowan, and the two will be forced to separate.

Dogwood is a realistic depiction of a friendship between two damaged people at different stages in their lives and how one can never make up for the past. It is also a testament to the power of kindness and its lasting effect on all who receive it.