Film Screening: Raising Bertie (2016) with director Margaret Byrne
Location: Block Museum of Art, Mary and Leigh (Map it)
Proving again that the personal is political and the local is universal, this documentary about black teenagers fighting to stay afloat in rural North Carolina covers many urgent and poignant subjects: systemic threats to African American men, women, and families; the fraying of the social safety net, and the grassroots heroes who try to craft substitutes; working-class anxieties beyond urban centers; and daily life in a highly gerrymandered state. First-time director Margaret Byrne earned sufficient trust from her subjects to capture the highs and lows of their lives in tender, specific detail. From Chicago-based Kartemquin Films, the same company that produced Hoop Dreams, this overlooked gem similarly rouses our emotions and our political wills. Prospects look grim at times, but the movie’s heart stays hopeful and strong.
In Person: director Margaret Byrne
Copresented with Northwestern University’s Gender & Sexuality Studies program