I’d never heard of Little Chenier before a friend brought it by and insisted I needed to watch. I was amazed at how good this film was and wondered how I’d never heard of it. In following the history, I see it was completed in 2006, had trouble finding a distributor, and was finally released in 2008, quickly going to DVD later in the year.

The heart of the movie is the love between two brothers, Beaux and Pemon Dupuis, one of them, Pemon, mentally challenged, and the lengths Beaux would go to to protect him. The two live a quiet life, selling bait and such to others, and fishing, except when their father infrequently drops in to take whatever cash is on hand for his drinking and whoring. Their Mother had left the day after the younger brother’s birth and hadn’t been seen since.

Note: Frederick Koehler is outstanding as the mentally challenged brother. He brings out the gentle soul there marvelously.

The Sheriff’s son and Beaux don’t like each other, Beaux’s girl friend having suddenly married the other unexpectedly. We wonder what’s going on as she never looks happy when she’s with her husband and “visits” Beaux quite often.

When the sheriff is suddenly killed stopping a robbery, his son takes over and we just know it spells no good for the two brothers. His father had been the only thing holding him back.

He arrests Pemon for a crime that he likely didn’t commit, simply because he’s a “retard,” and gives him three days, keeping Beaux from seeing him. When he finally gets in, he finds Pemon unconscious on a bunk, one arm shackled to the bars on the window. He goes nuts and attacks the new Sheriff.

This was a quiet little movie, no explosions, only a few gunshots, yet it was good. That Cajun music popping up here and there is fine as well.

In reading some of the reactions on IMDB, there seemed to be no middle ground here. It was authentic Cajun, it didn’t ring true. The mentally challenged brother was endearing, he was annoying.

I’m certainly no expert on the Cajun folk, but I liked this one. Worth checking out if, like me, It has slipped by you.