For Ahkeem (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

For Ahkeem (2017)



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Beginning one year before the fatal police shooting of a Black teenager in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, For Ahkeem is the coming-of-age story of Daje Shelton, a Black 17-year-old girl in North St. Louis. She fights for her future as she is placed in an alternative high school and navigates the marginalized neighborhoods, biased criminal justice policies and economic devastation that have set up many Black youth like her to fail. After she is expelled from her public high school, a juvenile court judge sends Daje to the court-supervised Innovative Concept Academy, which offers her one last chance to earn a diploma. Over two years we watch as Daje struggles to maintain focus in school, attends the funerals of friends killed around her, falls in love with a classmate named Antonio, and navigates a loving-but-tumultuous relationship with her mother. As Antonio is drawn into the criminal justice system and events in Ferguson just four miles from her home seize the national spotlight, Daje learns she is pregnant and must contend with the reality of raising a young Black boy. Through Daje's intimate coming of age story, For Ahkeem illuminates challenges that many Black teenagers face in America today, and witnesses the strength, resilience, and determination it takes to survive.

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Critic Reviews for For Ahkeem

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (8)

Levine and Van Soest are on top of their subjects with a startling familiarity and shoot in such a clean, unfiltered style that at times you question if they're working from a script or if their subjects are actors.

December 1, 2017 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

A tenderly intimate, affecting documentary portrait ...

October 19, 2017 | Full Review…

The story that is told here, with such heartbreaking clarity, is an important one, but it is hard to watch.

October 19, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

About as close as documentaries come to putting us inside the mind of someone who society easily overlooks.

October 13, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

While the film ends at a logical stopping point, it feels incomplete. It probably could have used a few more years of filming.

October 12, 2017 | Full Review…

A rich, inspiring, and at times infuriating evocation of Daje's inner life.

October 11, 2017 | Full Review…

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