Here's what the San Francisco International Film Festival's Web site says about this provocative film.
In 1990 the NYPD declared the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn an "Impact Zone," where, in just three square miles, there were 139 murders. At the same time, across the Atlantic Ocean in the African nation of Sierra Leone, a brutal 11-year civil war resulted in a devastated country and thousands of orphaned children. Today, the Respect pen pal program is attempting to bring these two groups of children together through the simple act of writing letters. This moving documentary shows how that experience not only helps shape the children's lives, but also shows them that even if they can't count on the world, they can count on each other. Brownstones to Red Dirt captures seemingly average students from vastly different worlds whose inspirational growth shows that no child's future is predestined.Here are some of the words shared by the child pen pals featured in "Brownstones to Red Dirt."
The Life in Africa is hard and difficult, but I thank God.
They lost their parents because of the war and all of them died.
I want you to be my friend.
I will be her friend, and I won’t let nobody boss her around.
The documentary is showing in San Francisco later this month.