Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Boys of Baraka|
Actors: Devon Brown, Darius Chambers, Richard Keyser, Justin Mackall, Montrey Moore
Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Don?t miss the true coming-of-age story that follows a group of extraordinary 12-year-old boys from the most violent ghettos of Baltimore to an experimental boarding school 10,000 miles away in rural Kenya. An emotionally... more »
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Heartbreaking and amazing
Eric K. Senunas | Boston, MA - but formerly Stockholm | 06/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of my favorite films of the past year. It is the heartbreaking and amazing story of how hard it can be to break out of the ghetto for too many of America's children.
The "boys" of Baraka are at once charming, inspiring and heartbreaking. The filmmakers have done a great job of showing us their real life, without making things feel maudlin or overly-dramatic. It should have been an Oscar nominee, but is worthy of your time nonetheless."
A Must See!!!!
R. K. Seabrook | New Castle, De | 11/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is a gripping true life portrait of the path poverty takes when it (poverty) decides to destroy life and hurt those who cannot defeat its ties of depression.
One of the strongest film ever seen!!! A must see
Shedding light on a big problem...
Emily Threlkeld | Houston, TX | 09/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary opens with a stunning fact: In Baltimore, MD, 76% of African-American boys don't graduate from high school. The film focuses on a glimmer of hope: The Baraka School. The boarding school, located in Kenya, takes in twenty "at-risk" kids for two years.
I hate using the terms "at-risk" or "troubled," because none of the children portrayed in the film are that. Devon, 12, wants to be a preacher. Montrey, also 12, wants to be a scientist. They aren't bad apples. They're ambitious kids growing up in a bad environment. They don't have a lot of chances, and it seems like everyone has given up on them - parents, teachers, and people in the community.
So it's amazing to see what they can do when they're given a chance. And their time Baraka School is just that. During the middle of the film, the principal asks the boys how many of them want to graduate from the high school of their choice. They all raise their hands. She explains to them that that's what everyone at the school wants for them as well, and they have no reason to fail.
The school is strict. During a language class, one of the boys threatens another, and is asked to leave class. If anyone fails a class, they're immediately sent back to Baltimore.
The school is also a little unconventional. The counselors constantly encourage the boys to talk through conflicts instead of solving them with violence, and they're encouraged to talk about their problems. In perhaps one of the best scenes in the movie, two boys who were in a fist fight are taken away from the school and given a tent. It's about an hour before sunset, and they're told they have to work together to assemble it before they can leave.
There are a couple of things that annoyed me about the movie, however. Occasionally, the boys are subtitled, which I found a little unnecessary. I didn't have a hard time understanding them at all. Also, it doesn't really have a coherent, linear story line. There's a lot going on all at once.
However, it's a very powerful film. As Roger Ebert said, "Here is a movie that makes you want to do something." It makes the point that there are a lot of children we're failing. They need guidance and structure and they aren't getting it. But it's encouraging to see just how tenacious they are, and to see some of them start to reach their goals. It give you hope for the future."
~A Must See Film!~
Emily Threlkeld | 11/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Boys of Baraka", what an inspirational movie. This is a movie that I
could watch over and over again. It is funny and very interesting. It's
based on a group of pre-teens and teens (12-13) who have the opportunity
of coming from a harsh and rough life in Baltimore, Maryland to a strict
school in Kenya where they not only get there education but the also talk
through conflicts instead of solving them with violence.
The boys are given a second chance into bettering their lives outside of
Maryland by being able to spend two years of their lives in East Africa,
Kenya at a school called, "Baraka School".
There's a boy named Richard, who is 13 years old who is determined to
make a better life for himself. He is a strong young black male who knows
whats best for him and his younger brother Romesh whos us 12 years old.
He is determined to do whatever he has to do to be a better person.
There is also another young black male by the name of Devon who is an
inspiration that I admire because he loves to preach and have dreams
about becoming a pastor one day. Even though his mother is struggling
from abusing drugs, that's not going to stop this young inspiration from
achieving his dream.
As they are living in Kenya the boys really don't like it because they
start missing their families and because they brought their lifestyles
from Baltimore to Kenya which makes it hard. Not only are the
disrespecting each other but themeselves also.
At then end of this movie the boys are sent home after the completion of
their first year for summer vacation. At the ending of their summer
vaction the boys are told that they will not be returning to Kenya
because of the war that has begun. The boys are devastated and angry.
This movie is good for the whole family to watch. It's something you can
relate to or it may remind you of someone you know and if it does
encourage them to watch this inspirational film. ~Sabrina Staples~"