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Raising Bertie: First Clip

— by BEV QUESTAD —

Thought-provoking as well as deeply disturbing, this slice of North Carolinian life for the working poor makes a case for at least one intervention – by Vivian Saunders. Fueled by love and a sense of responsibility, Saunders is a source of common strength for Bertie County.

Margaret Byrne, director and MacArthur Grant recipient for this project, documented the lives of three teenagers from a small, predominantly African-American community in North Carolina, over five years. Their challenges in school, at home and in trying to get a job over time document a troubling layer of American society.

“Raising Bernie” was selected as one of the documentaries being shown this year in the Portland International Film Festival. It plays on Feb. 21 and 22.

Ranking: 7/10


Credits
Director: Margaret Byrne
Screenplay: Margaret Byrne, Leslie Simmer
Executive Producers: J. Cole Justine Nagan and Gordon Quinn
Producers: Margaret Byrne, Ian Robertson Kibbe, Jon Stuyvesant
Director of Photography and Co-Producer: Jon Stuyvesant
Editor: Leslie Simmer with Ryan Gleeson, Hillary Bachelder and Frances Cedro
Initial release: April 7, 2016
Awards: Best Director at 2016 Atlanta Underground Film Festival and Best Documentary at 2016 Atlanta Docufest

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