In the 1980s, DC was a city plagued with violence and bloodshed; particularly, in the southeast quadrant of the city, where the unfortunate arrival of cocaine devastated the lives of many that it touched. Often (at that time) identified as the nation’s “Murder Capitol,” the city saw many of its citizens lose their lives to violence. However, as the documentary, SOUTHEAST 67, points out, there were individuals during that time who were intent on breaking this cycle.
Picked as a selection at this year’s DC Indie Film Fest, the doc follows the story of 67 rising seventh graders who were promised college scholarships by area businessman Stewart Bainum through the “I Have a Dream” program-a national movement to provide kids in underserved communities the opportunity to attend college. Revisiting some these students 20 years later, the film revisits the students’ struggles to reconcile the dream of college with daily survival in a community rife with violence, poverty and addiction.
Curious to know more about the documentary, I sat down with the film’s director, Betsy Cox, to chat further about the documentary’s subject matter, an issue which is still poignant today. Check out the interview below…
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