Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

A BROOKLYN FAMILY TALE

 

Year: 2001
Country: USA
Run Time: 63 minutes

Two decades ago documentary filmmaker Roger Weisberg first visited the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn to record the efforts of the Center for Family Life (particularly of two nuns, Sister Geraldine and Sister Mary Paul) to reverse the plague of juvenile crime and shattered households in the area. In the process Weisberg met the Santiago family, of whom Francisco `Cisco' Santiago was an active gang member, the proverbial youth at-risk. With poignant intimacy A BROOKLYN FAMILY TALE takes the chronicle to the next generation, putting a human face on the statistics and social-pathology generalizations. An adult, law ? abiding Francisco, now avidly volunteering at the Center for Family Life, watches history repeating itself in his nephew Luis, who sees his uncle's very survival as proof that the streets are a necessary (if lethal) part of earning one's manhood. Luis and his sister Elena share a stormy relationship with their stepfather Benny, a situation that boils over in the spring of 1998, when two generations of Santiagos find themselves struck by three pregnancies. And finally, these children having children must take responsibility for themselves. Sister Geraldine is still on the scene, struggling to keep the Santiagos intact ? despite her own faltering health. In the tradition of "Legacy" (24th CIFF, 2000), we present another dispatch from the front lines of urban America, a story of hope against the odds.

Directors
Murray Nossel, Roger Weisberg

Producer
Murray Nossel, Roger Weisberg

Cinematography
Eddie Marritz

Editing
Howard Sharp

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