Directed by Matthew Newton
Three undocumented teenagers, a Dominican girl, an African boy and a Peruvian girl, are about to graduate high school in the Bronx, while working with a teacher and a lawyer to try to get their papers to stay in the USA. Forced to grow up prematurely and navigate problems most adults don't even have to face, they're really just American teenagers who want to be with their friends, fall in love, and push back against authority.
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★★★½ review by Mike D'Angelo on Letterboxd
A.V. Club review. Very much a message movie, but one that mostly prioritizes complexity over its thesis statement.
★★★½ review by yanni on Letterboxd
black history month film challenge:
day 11 - black coming of age film
hidden gem. watch this.
★★★½ review by Kern on Letterboxd
Newton understands how to elicit empathy better than most filmmakers today. One scene just destroyed me.
★★★½ review by Jordan Ford on Letterboxd
In the wake of Trump's DACA decision, this film's message is more important now than ever.
★★★½ review by Daniel Sarath on Letterboxd
In ostensibly combining the over-lit low-budget aesthetic I abhor with the 'issues movie' themes I find useless, I was immediately apprehensive about From Nowhere. However, this story about the anxiety of deportation that looms over three teenagers in their final year of high school is written and performed with such emotional complexity—Julliane Nicholson's performance is my favourite of the year so far—that it manages to impress, even quite profoundly at times. From Nowhere avoids being a tired 'issues movie' about deportation by deciding to avoid instigating righteous moral outrage and aspiring, instead, to have us simply empathise with the array of emotions these characters endure: fear, frustration, hopelessness, determination, resilience. There is a scene when one of the kids' mothers suffers a particularly powerful dilemma—admitting a horrible truth about her son's parentage which will help his immigration case, but in doing so cause him great upset—which contains more depth of feeling and moral intricacy than most movies achieve in an entire two hours.
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