Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson, 2013
USA | 135 minutes
Directors Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson in person for Q&A at both screenings!!
In 1999 Brooklyn parents and filmmaking partners Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson went in search of the right kindergarten for their son Idris. They looked at both public and private schools and settled on the prestigious Dalton School in Manhattan. In addition to a top-notch education, Dalton promised a commitment to maintaining a racially diverse student body. When Idris and his close friend Seun enrolled, their respective educations became the jumping off point for this one–of-a-kind documentary, 14 years in the making. As Joe and Michèle followed the boys on their divergent journeys through grade school and high school, they also turned the cameras on themselves, acknowledging their own ordeals and mistakes as they raised their son from childhood to young adulthood. A personal story of two young men coming of age and the terrible personal and institutional struggles they faced, American Promise is also a frank accounting of the state of our supposedly "post-racial" society.