In 1999, 9 year-old Emmanuel Sanford-Durant and his Washington, DC family began to film their daily lives in America’s most dangerous neighborhood — just 17 blocks behind the U.S. Capitol building. They’ve been filming ever since. Made in a unique collaboration with filmmaker and journalist Davy Rothbart, four generations of the Sanford Family share their lives. Emmanuel is a promising student, his brother Smurf is a local drug dealer, and his sister Denice is an aspiring cop. Their mother Cheryl does what she can to hold the family together. Spanning two decades, this eye-opening documentary illuminates a nation’s ongoing crisis through one family’s raw, stirring, and deeply personal saga.
Davy Rothbart is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, bestselling author and journalist, frequent contributor to public radio’s This American Life, and the creator of Found Magazine. Rothbart previously directed two documentaries about the activist band Rise Against, which became best-sellers in the US, Canada, Germany, and Sweden. A separate short film featuring Rise Against’s song “Make It Stop” was created for Dan Savage’s ItGetsBetter project and later won an MTV Music Video Award.
Oklahoma is Black
Director: Melinda James / 3:21
A portrait of Black life on the Northeast side of Oklahoma City.