Directed by Jeremy S. Levine & Landon Van Soest
US, Documentary, 2017, 90 mins., in English
Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
(directors in attendance, program concludes no later than 11:00 a.m.)
Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave.
Themes & Subjects: US Educational System, Juvenile Justice, Race & Racism, Adolescence, Family Relations
Synopsis: Daje Shelton, a 17-year-old girl from St. Louis, wants to do the right thing. But growing up in a tough neighborhood, she can’t catch a break: she’s struggling in school, been court ordered to attend a school for troubled youth, distracted by boys, and surrounded by a culture of violence and brutality. Nevertheless, she learns from her commanding mother and endeavors to grow up with grace and determination. The fatal shooting of Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri, provides a powerful backdrop for this masterfully crafted portrait of working-class urban life entrenched in poverty and systematic racism. “This verité doc about a St. Louis teen offers compellingly humane proof of the fact that Black lives matter.” —IndieWire
Daje exemplifies the awareness and insight many Black teenagers bring to the unique challenges of their lives; how they are in constant dialogue about how to process, survive, and transcend the violence and other systemic obstructions put in their paths. Through Daje’s inner world and day-to-day experiences,For Ahkeem provides an important window into the complexities of growing up with this trauma, and aims to highlight the urgent, devastating consequences of being a Black teenager in America today. — Directors Jeremy S. Levine & Landon Van Soest
Resources for teachers:
For Ahkeem press kit.
Articles on the subject of the “School to Prison Pipeline” collected by the ACLU.
Justice Center Report “Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement.”
NPR’s Interactive Redlining Map.