Canadian-born director Daniel Petrie had long cherished making a film about his early days in Nova Scotia. Bay Boy is the realization of that dream, but it’s far from the pot of gold at the end of his rainbow.
Setting is a coastal mining community circa 1937. Principals are a family of non-miners barely eking out an existence during the Depression. Kiefer Sutherland has the pivotal part of Donald Campbell, a teenager whose family envision his future with the clergy. He’s more dubious about this path.
The family travails – father’s precarious fortunes, brother’s debilitating disease, mother’s profound religious guilt, etc – are cut with humorous vignettes and insights. However, Donald witnesses the murder of an old Jewish couple by a local policeman.