The Boys of Baraka

Rated NR 84 minutes 2006

This fine documentary, about a group of inner-city, at-risk boys who travel to Kenya to attend a special school, comes very close to greatness. For over an hour, it's a sharp and blazing account of how boys with multiple challenges and little hope for their lives fare in a strange and wondrous place. Then, in the last half-hour, the film deflates -- and not through any fault of directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Events outside the filmmakers' control conspired to redirect the plot, and the story we end up with is not the one we were promised. Such are the risks of documentary, and of life. Because in the end, what happens to the film is what happens to the boys, whether we like it or not. In the meantime, the film remains rich with sorrow, longing, and some sweet victories. It's great fun to watch the boys journey to a distant land, where they not only struggle to learn and grow, but awaken to nature, academics, and themselves.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

Producer: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

Cast: Devon Brown, Darius Chambers, Richard Keyser, Justin Mackall, Montrey Moore and Romesh Vance

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