Synopsis by Mark Deming
Baltimore, MD, is a city where crime, drugs, and juvenile delinquency have crippled the African-American community, and it has been estimated that as many as 75 percent of African-American males in Baltimore drop out of high school each year. With this in mind, in the '90s a program was created to help at-risk students from Baltimore with academic promise achieve their potential -- 20 young men each year were sent to the Baraka School, a special institution in Kenya. There, students experience a simpler, more rural lifestyle than they would in the city, while at school they are subject to a degree of discipline and academic rigor unknown at home. Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady followed a group of students to the Baraka School, and Boys of Baraka offers a look at the impoverished circumstances the young men left behind, and the ups and downs of their new lives on another continent. Produced in cooperation with PBS, Boys of Baraka received its world premier at the 2005 South by Southwest Film Festival.
Africa, delinquency, drug-dealer, grandmother, inner-city, middle-school, single-parent, troublemaker