Off and Running
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Off and Running

USA, 2009, 80 Minute Running Time
West Coast Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Black / African American, Documentary, Female-to-Male, Jewish, Lesbian, Parenting / Family
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Nicole Opper

Nicole Opper’s fly-on-the-wall documentary explores issues of race and the definition of family as seen through the eyes of a young woman who feels increasingly estranged from the people who love her.

African American teenager Avery lives in Brooklyn with her two adoptive Jewish, lesbian mothers, a mixed-raced older brother, and a Korean younger brother. With her parents’ encouragement, she writes to her birth mother in Texas. But rather than illuminating Avery’s situation, the exchange only spurs a full-blown identity crisis. A gifted runner, Avery has long taken it for granted that she would attend college on a track and field scholarship. That bright future looks increasingly dim as she starts staying away from home and even drops out of school. Her mothers are at a loss as to how to reach her and her cherished big brother Rafi only adds to her sense of separation and abandonment when he moves away to attend Princeton. A bright teen, Avery can articulate her situation but has trouble putting it in perspective.

What begins as a hopeful voyage of self-discovery turns into something more fraught. The documentary itself is transformed as it follows Avery on her journey, growing ever more suspenseful and emotionally resonant. — PAM GRADY

Text Voting Code: D318

Copresented by

COLAGE and Our Family Coalition

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