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For Ahkeem

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.

Reservation Form Below

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.


Reservation Form

Global Classroom FAQs

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.