Independent Lens: A Reckoning in Boston

About

Kafi Dixon and Carl Chandler enrolled in a rigorous night course in the humanities at a community center in their Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. Kafi, 44, sharp, witty and restless, dropped out of school at 15. She had her first baby a year later and two more soon after. Carl, 65, who lives on a small pension and disability payment in one of Boston’s most dangerous neighborhoods, began the class with a keen interest in learning but little faith in educational institutions.

White suburban filmmaker James Rutenbeck came to Dorchester to document the students’ engagement with the Clemente Course in the Humanities. But over time James is forced to come to terms with a flawed film premise and his own complicity in racist structures. As he spends time with Carl and Kafi, he’s awakened to the violence, racism and gentrification that threaten their very place in the city.

Troubled by his failure to bring the film together, he spends more time listening than filming and enlists Kafi and Carl as collaborators/ producers with a share in the film revenues. Five years on, despite many obstacles, Kafi and Carl arrive at surprising new places in their lives, and following their lead, James does too.

Airdates

Monday, January 17, at 10pm on CET
Friday, January 21, at 9pm on ThinkTV14

Post expires at 10:30am on Monday January 24th, 2022