Raising Bertie

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