17 Blocks Film Screening

Tuesday | October 22 | 7:00-9:30pm
WSU | Stark 103

17 Blocks (2019, dir. Davy Rothbart). Award-winning director Davy Rothbart will appear at WSU to present his verité-inspired documentary charting the challenges faced by four generations of the Sanford-Durant family just blocks from the nation’s capital, but beset by extreme poverty, gang-related violence, drug addiction, and domestic abuse. For this family, careers might seem impossible. This film is not rated but includes adult content. Co-sponsored by the Frozen River Film Festival, Winona State University College of Liberal Arts, Department of English, Office of Inclusion & Diversity, and the Integrated Wellness Center.

The Story: In 1999, nine-year-old EMMANUEL SANFORD-DURANT and his Washington, D.C. 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, the film focuses on four generations of the Sanford Family, including EMMANUEL, a promising student, his brother SMURF, a local drug dealer, his sister DENICE, an aspiring cop, and his mother CHERYL, who must conquer her own demons for her family to prosper.

Spanning two decades, 17 Blocks illuminates a nation’s ongoing crisis through one family’s raw, stirring, and deeply personal saga.

Frozen River Film Festival is a member of the River Arts Alliance. To learn more about the benefits of membership, please visit: riverartsalliance.org/JOIN.


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