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Directed by Margaret Byrne

United States 2016 102 mins. In English

What happens in the lives of young people caught in the complex interplay of generational poverty, educational inequity, and race? Reginald, Davonte, and David are black teenagers in rural Bertie County, North Carolina. Raising Bertie documents their trials and triumphs over six years as the young men repeat grades, search for jobs, and persevere. Along the way, they are aided by activist Vivian Saunders, whose innovative alternative high school, The Hive, provides a much-needed resource for an underserved community. In the spirit of other longitudinal portraits such as Steve James’ Hoop Dreams and Michael Apted’s Up series, identity and opportunity play major roles in the process of coming of age.

Reviews: RogerEbert.com

Interviews: Interview with Margaret Byrne at Filmmaker Magazine, Interview with Margaret Byrne at Chicagoist, Interview with Margaret Byrne at The Huffington Post

First feature



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.