I saw many moving independent films at the MFA during this year's Roxbury Film Festival. Quoted text below is from the festival site.
On 6/23 and 6/30 I saw all available those days. All films were informative and good.
I was deeply moved by I Am Still Here. "Directed by Mischa Marcus (USA, 2016, 104 min.). This is the story of 10-year old Layla, who was stolen from her family and thrown into America’s child sex industry. Stories of courage drawn from interviews with trafficking survivors are the foundation for the fictionalized account of Layla’s journey as she confronts the monsters of her past and embraces the hope of her future." This might be available on Netflix soon. I highly recommend watching it.
My Black Is Beautiful:
"Directed by Brandon German and Lovely Hoffman (USA, 2016, 17 min.). My Black Is Beautiful serves as positive reinforcement that black skin is beautiful and aims to embolden young girls of color. It follows a young girl who struggles with low self-esteem but who is ultimately empowered and uplifted by her peers and encouraged to love herself and embrace her blackness." See this musical film here!
Fireflies: "Directed by Raouf Zaki (USA, 2017, 17 min.). In this silent film, when a withdrawn Middle Eastern man begins frequenting a Boston café, the headwaiter grows increasingly suspicious about the true nature of his visits." See trailer here.
America, I Too: "Directed by Anike Tourse (USA, 2016, 20 min.). The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), presents its second Know Your Rights film: America; I Too, starring Academy Award nominee Barkhad Abdi and featuring the music from Grammy winners Quetzal. Writer and first time Director Anike Tourse shares the interconnected stories of three arrested and detained immigrants who navigate the system as they attempt to prevent their deportation. While the film has a narrative trajectory it is based on real testimonies and experiences." See the film here in English and Spanish. Other languages might be available at some point in the future.
Little Boxes: "Directed by Rob Meyer (USA, 2017, 84 min.). It’s the summer before 6th grade, and Clark is the new biracial kid in a very white town. Discovering that to be cool he needs to act ‘more black’, he fumbles to meet expectations. Meanwhile, his urban intellectual parents Mack and Gina try to adjust to small-town living. Accustomed to life in New York, the tight-knit family is ill-prepared for the drastically different set of obstacles that their new community presents. They soon find themselves struggling to understand themselves and each other in this new context."
Not Black Enough: "Documentary directed by Tracey Anarella (USA, 2016, 83 min.). Not Black Enough is a film about class warfare and the cross-tides that African Americans are dealing with in the black community. The film takes a sometimes humorous, always personal, brutally honest and insightful look into a seldom-explored phenomenon that is pervasive in black culture: the ostracizing of blacks for not being “black enough.” This documentary explores the reasons behind this practice of fear and loathing within the black community."
My BFF: "Directed by Greg Carter (USA, 2016, 110 min.). When five-year-old Marni Wilkins, a white girl, lost her mother, she was left with an unfulfilled soul, but her best friend, Gemma Brown, an African American girl, was always by her side. Now ten years later, Marni has the opportunity to find that lost connection when she learns that her mother’s favorite poet will be teaching at a distinguished magnet school for the arts in her area. The two friends are both excited to apply. Gemma gets accepted, but Marni’s father has missed the registration deadline and the school now only has seats left for “diverse” candidates. Realizing that Marni’s dreams of getting to know her mother may disappear, Gemma convinces her friend to do something drastic. Things don’t quite go as planned, but the two girls learn a valuable lesson about race, identity, politics, and friendship in this poignant coming-of-age comedy written, directed, and produced by African American filmmaker Greg Carter and based on a true story."