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Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

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Condemned To Freedom

What’s worse than a school where children aren’t safe? A school where no one is safe. Few know about—or acknowledge—the extortion, the drugs, even the rapes at Freedom Consolidated High School, but now that local legend and district CEO Big Bob Samson has been murdered, demands for swift justice echo across the Pennsylvania Dutch heartland. Answering the call is Chief Harley Snitz, who has to sort through a set of unusual suspects, armed with little evidence and even less experience in homicide cases. Rushing to his aid are Snitz’s sergeant, the impulsive Ed Knepp, and Nick Neidrich, a rising star in the elite Pennsylvania State Police, a star cast in eclipse by the tragic death of his wife.

The main suspects are Samson’s colleagues, educators who refuse to take murder anywhere near as seriously as they do their jobs. The worst of the bunch is their main suspect, Doc Randori, a strangely gifted counselor for at-risk students. As the body count rises, each new corpse points in his direction. None of this bothers him, though, as he bemuses Snitz, befriends Neidrich, enrages Knepp, and forces all three to face their own fears, prejudices, and values. In the end, the investigation hinges on whether Randori is a harmless misfit or a murderous sociopath.

Condemned to Freedom is more than a murder mystery: it is a searing look at the student subculture hidden beneath subjects, sports, and SAT scores. It is the story of abusive and neglectful parents, hurting children, and misplaced priorities.














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Whoever Fights Monsters

Lee Connolly is a major screw-up.  As a teenager, she was busted for smoking pot in school and losing a college scholarship in the process.  Sent to an alternative school program for her behavioral disorder, she learned that her main talent was as an ass-kicker.  Later, she attended college but dropped out, and now she waits tables in a brewpub college and in her free time she drinks beer, shops, and works out, paralyzed into stagnation by the many roads she can take and the few places she wants to end up. 
Saving graces are her loving parents: Bert Connolly, a salt-of-the-earth good guy with whom she has nothing in common, and Sharon, a firebrand lawyer and State Attorney General candidate whose intelligence, wit, and courage are mirrored in her daughter.  One rainy night, that bedrock of her life is shattered when a hit-and-run driver forces her parents’ car off of the road, killing them instantly.
Freedom City police call it an accident, but Lee suspects her parents were murdered, and she finds a willing ear in State Trooper Nick Neidrich.  When her parents’ home is ransacked, Lee’s suspicions become convictions.  She seeks the only person she trusts—Doc Randori, an old friend of Sharon Connolly and Lee’s mentor from her time in the alternative school—but he has gone underground and Lee quickly learns that she had better do the same.  There, she finds the corrupt underbelly of politics, where victory is more important than justice, where ethics is a threat, and where safe haven is given to hate.  In the end, Lee and her few allies must heed Nietzsche’s warning: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.”

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