For Akheem


For Akheem
(États-Unis, 2017, 90 min)

De Landon Van Soest, Jeremy Levine

Category: Americana

One World Festival

Daje is 17 and she has just been expelled from high school. She lives in a rough suburban neighbourhood in St. Louis, Missouri, where African American teens are much more worried about surviving to see the age of 18 than they are about graduating from high school.

“What you got shot with? A 22mm? Or a 38mm?”, asks a classmate with interest. No one can walk into a court-monitored alternative school without being thoroughly searched. For many adolescents, this institution is their last chance to get a high school diploma and fulfil the associated dream of a better life. This fly-on-the wall documentary, which has received awards at many American film festivals, tracks Daje for the two years preceding her final exams. Her maturity is tested not only by many traditional issues, such as arguments with her mother, and her first love, but also as a result of the much more fatal pitfalls of the complicated social environment she comes from. In addition, in the nearby Ferguson suburb, a wave of protests rises after a policeman shoots 18-year-old Michael Brown.