The Boys of Baraka (2005)


Critic Consensus: The interviewed boys are compelling subjects, but the documentary would be better if the filmmakers had provided more factual details.


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Movie Info

"The Boys of Baraka" follows a group of extraordinary 12-year-old boys from the most violent ghettos of Baltimore who are chosen to attend an experimental boarding school in Kenya. Many have developed emotion problems and violent tendencies as a result of coming from broken homes or being raised by parents with drug addictions or criminal records. Removed from these influences, the school presents a strict academic and disciplinary program that allows them to face their issues and begin the journey toward putting their lives on the right track.


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Critic Reviews for The Boys of Baraka

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (16)

There are difficulties along the way, none of them slighted in this award-winning documentary, as well as a surprise at the end that's as sobering to the viewer as it is to the children.

Jan 16, 2018 | Full Review…

It's galling to think American kids must go abroad for a chance to turn their lives around. But it's also inspiring to see the changes that are possible.

Apr 14, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A potent mixture of heartbreak and crushing irony.

Mar 3, 2006 | Rating: 3/4

A potent emotional experience.

Mar 3, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4

Here is a movie that makes you want to do something. Cry, or write a check, or howl with rage.

Mar 2, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This is a gripping documentary look at four Baltimore youngsters sent to a school in rural Kenya that specializes in dealing with troubled American boys from the inner city.

Feb 17, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Boys of Baraka

A good tale of inner city kids from the States who are taken to Africa to get a different perspective on life and seem enriched by it. The question is..what happens afterwards? Is this a tale of a program of good intentions providing a reprieve from a troubled life but not stopping that troubled life from happening?

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


The preacher kid creeped me out.

Brandon Klaus
Brandon Klaus

Super Reviewer

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