17 Blocks

USA | 2019 | 96 mins | NR

HEARTBREAKING AND INSPIRING. An essential viewing doc about race & class in America.” – Warren Cantrell, The Playlist

RAW AND IMMEDIATE. Packs a potent emotional punch.”- Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

A remarkably raw and heartfelt piece of filmmaking.”- Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com


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Director: Davy Rothbart
Cast: Emmanuel Durant Jr., Cheryl Sanford, Akil 'Smurf' Sanford


In 1999, filmmaker Davy Rothbart met Emmanuel Sanford-Durant and his older brother, Smurf, during a pickup basketball game in Southeast Washington, D.C. Davy began filming their lives, and soon the two brothers and other family members began to use the camera themselves. Spanning 20 years, this story illuminates a national, ongoing crisis through one family’s raw, stirring and deeply personal saga. Made from more than 1,000 hours of footage, it all starts on the street where they lived in 1999, 17 blocks behind the U.S. Capitol.

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