To Be Heard
About IDFA
To Be Heard
IDFA 2011

To Be Heard

Edwin Martinez, Roland Legiardi-Laura, Deborah Shaffer, Amy Sultan
United States
87 min
European Premiere
Festival history
Teenagers Anthony, Karina, and Paul are growing up in the Bronx, a place where opportunity is scarce and children grow up fast. Anthony puts it this way: "What are you supposed to do when your five o'clock shadow arrives at two?" Karina is the oldest of six children. She has to take care of the others most of the time, especially now that her mother is pregnant again. Pearl has a list at home with things she is proud of and things she feels work against her. She is in constant fear that she won't make it in life. Ever since they started taking an intense poetry course led by some inspiring teachers, they have discovered they all have a very special talent with words. They learn how to tell their stories, express their emotions, and dream about a life where anything is possible. The filmmakers follow the students during the course and in their daily lives. In the words of Pearl, "I am not going to settle with normal, I gotta be extraordinary." Despite their sometimes tragic stories, they become more self-confident - and their energetic, intelligent lyrics prove to be remarkably strong and catchy.
Screening copy
Involved TV Channel
    ITVS International
    ITVS International