Session 12               
Saturday June 10, 2006    3:00PM TO 5:45PM
Mass Art 621 Huntington Avenue Boston
The Perfect Life                  
(82 min)

The Perfect Life is a portrait of childhood in Harlem, as seen
through the eyes of five former classmates at a private
tuition-free grade school. After experiences in different high
schools, the students reveal how the intervening years have
brought new challenges and obstacles to their lives, and to
what degree they have been able to meet them. The kids
share a rare bond with the filmmaker – she was their teacher
in the 2nd and 3rd grades. This connection allows for brutal
honesty and candid disclosures about their teenage lives.
Film footage of them at ages seven and ten captures the
open and exuberant faces of children exploring their world.
But flash-forward to the present, and in their senior years of
high school, they struggle with their limitations while holding
onto hope for the future – as Troy says, 'to have a house,
kids...the great American dream, the perfect life”. At this
pivotal juncture, the kids must rely on their own
resourcefulness to make the transition to adulthood, a
difficult time in the best of circumstances. As Natkhia says,
“Because of the family I grew up in, and my circumstances
and stuff, I have no choice but to be strong – because all I
have is myself”. Following these five characters over two
years, The Perfect Life tells their story in their own words and
in the process reveals what is truly essential to the concept
of “No Child Left Behind”.

PRODUCER: Sam Lee, Nancy Roth, Selina Lewis

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