Country: Dominican Republic
Language: Spanish w/ English subtitles
Documentary | 2016 | 68 min
Recommended for ages 10+ (Parental Guidance: alcoholism, violent lyrics, poverty)
New England Premiere
This candid documentary captures a real-life story of a boy trying his best to turn his dreams into reality. Twelve-year-old Jeffrey has the responsibilities of an adult, working as a windshield washer on the busy streets of Santo Domingo to help his mom make ends meet at home. But he has big plans to become a reggaeton singer. In collaboration with his older brother Jeyson, he composes and records songs about his neighborhood, his way of life, and his dreams for the future.
Director Yanillys Perez highlights the resilience and dynamism of her subject. We watch as Jeffrey looks for customers, tries to avoid turf wars with other windshield washers, spends time at home with his family, and climbs his special tree—a tree to which he often speaks of his hopes for a better life. Through his story, Ms. Perez skillfully contrasts the layered beauty of the Dominican Republic with the daunting struggle of its people wanting to break out of a cycle of poverty.
• Cleveland International Film Festival “FilmSlam Student Choice Award for Best Feature” 2017
• Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival “Best Documentary Award” 2017