RACE AND CLASS IN AMERICA

A new documentary “Quest,” provides a vivid look at race and class in America, and delivers a testament to love, healing and hope. We have your preview.
 
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Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation.

Aired on June 18, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> NEW CENSUS DATA SHOWS PHILADELPHIA JUST 90 MILES SOUTH OF NEW YORK, REMAINS THE POOREST OF THE LARGE CITIES IN AMERICA.

THE PROBLEM IS ESPECIALLY ACUTE IN THE NORTHERN PHILADELPHIA COMMUNITY IN WHICH RESIDES A LARGELY SEGREGATED POPULATION OF BLACK AMERICANS.

A NEW DOCUMENTARY 'QUEST' AIRING ON PBS' POV IS AN INTIMATE PORT RAT OF A FAMILY CAPTURING THEIR STRUGGLES IN A NEIGHBORHOOD RIDDLED WITH THE SAME ISSUES OF INEQUALITY AND NEGLECT THAT PLAGUED SO MUCH OF AMERICA'S LANDSCAPE POOPTS ALSO A TESTAMENT TO LOVE, HEALING AND HOPE.

TAKE A LOOK.

I LOVE NORTH PHILLY.

THIS IS THE NEIGHBORHOOD WE'VE LIVED IN ALL OUR LIVES.

A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY THE NEIGHBORHOODS WERE TOUGH BUT IT'S REALLY A TOUGH NEIGHBORHOOD.

OUR SPECIAL GUEST TODAY, CHRIS RAINEY, ONE OF PHILADELPHIA'S PREMIER RECORD PRODUCERS.

THESE GUYS WHEN THEY COME IN HERE, ENCOURAGEMENT.

A SENSE OF WORTH.

TURNING INTO A TEENAGER.

LIKE THE COOLEST 5-YEAR-OLD EVER.

WHEN A GUN IS FIRED IN OUR COMMUNITY, IT'S KILLING ALL OF US.

SEEMS LIKE NOBODY CARES ABOUT THIS SECTION OF THE CITY.

ANGER, SADNESS, CONFUSION.

AS A MOM, ALL WE CAN DO IS ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES.

GOT TO SEE SOMEBODY -- THAT'S WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO FOR MY NEIGHBORHOOD.

NORTH PHILLY.

WE RECORDED THAT WHOLE THING.

THAT WAS ART.

WE PRESENT THIS SEGMENT AS A PART OF OUR INITIATIVE 'CHASING THE DREAM.'

JOINING SUSTHE DOCUMENTARY'S PRODUCER SABRINA SCHMIDT.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

THIS IS A VERY COMPELLING STORY ON SO MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS.

HOW DID THIS IDEA COME ABOUT TO SAY, LET'S CHRONICLE THIS FAMILY?

YEAH, ACTUALLY, THE DIRECTOR OF THE FILM, JOHN, HE WAS ACTUALLY TAKING PICTURES OF THE ARTISTS IN THE MUSIC STUDIO THAT WE SEE IN THE FILM.

SO JONATHAN STARTED TO FILM WHEN HE LEARNED QUEST, CHRIS, DELIVERED NEWSPAPERS AND HE WANTED TO FOLLOW HIM ON HIS PAPER ROUTE.

HE DECIDED TO HANG OUT WITH HIM A LITTLE BIT MORE.

A GREAT SHOT OF HIM FLIPPING THOSE PAPERS OVER THE SHOULDER AND LANDS IT EXACTLY ON THE STOOP.

YES.

GIVE US A SENSE OF THIS FAMILY AND WHY THEIR STORY IS SO INTRIGUING.

WELL, I THINK WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT THE FAMILY IS THAT ON ONE HAND, THEY ARE AN ORDINARY AMERICAN FAMILY.

BUT THERE'S A WAY IN WHICH WE THINK ABOUT WITH TYPICAL AMERICAN FAMILY AND TYPICAL AMERICAN STORY, WE'RE NOT THINKING ABOUT NORTH PHILADELPHIA.

WE'RE NOT TALKING -- WE'RE NOT THINKING ABOUT FOLKS IN THE COMMUNITY THAT IS DEALING WITH A LOT OF ISSUES LIKE AROUND POVERTY AND THE THINGS THAT COME WITH THAT.

THIS WAS AN OPPORTUNITY REALLY TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE.

WHAT IS AN AMERICAN FAMILY?

WHAT IS THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE?

AND THAT'S REALLY WHAT MAKES THEM COMPELLING.

THEY ARE A LOVING FAMILY.

BECAUSE WE FILMED OVER TEN YEARS YOU SEE ALL THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN THAT COUNTRY INTERSECTING THEIR LIVES IN PERSONAL AND DRAMATIC WAYS.

THE COMMUNITY ITSELF.

ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS STRUCK BY IS THEIR DEEP AFFINITY FOR THIS COMMUNITY.

DID THAT SURPRISE YOU?

IT DIDN'T SURPRISE ME, BUT I THINK -- I CAN SEE HOW IT COULD SURPRISE OTHER FOLKS.

I THINK WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT NORTH PHILADELPHIA AND COMMUNITIES LIKE IT AND THE WAY IN WHICH, YOU KNOW, THEY ARE OFTEN PRESENTED PERHAPS LIKE IN THE NEWS MEDIA AND THINGS LIKE THAT --

THEY SAY THEY ARE RESENTFUL OF THE FACT THEIR COMMUNITY IS ALWAYS DEPICTED IN TERMS OF DRUGS AND VIOLENCE AND POVERTY.

EXACTLY.

AND A WAY IN WHICH IT'S REALLY FORGOTTEN AND NEGLECTED.

THERE'S A SCENE WHERE THEY ARE BEING INTERVIEWED BY A LOCAL REPORTER, AND THE REPORTER DOESN'T EVEN QUITE KNOW WHAT NEIGHBORHOOD HE'S IN.

SO I THINK THERE'S A WAY IN WHICH THEY FEEL SORT OF FORGOTTEN, EXCEPT FOR WHEN THERE'S SOMETHING LIKE A -- YOU KNOW, SOMETHING NEGATIVE TO REPORT.

WHAT THIS FILM DOES IS REINFORCES THE NOTION THAT ALL GREAT STORYTELLING FOCUSES ON THE PEOPLE AT THE CENTER OF THAT STORY.

AND THIS IS, AS I SAID, IT'S COMPELLING.

IT'S REVEALING OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.

IT'S JUST A GREAT PIECE OF STORYTELLING.

SABRINA, THANK YOU FOR SPENDING SOME TIME AND TALKING WITH US ABOUT IT.

I'M SURE FOLKS WILL BE REALLY INTERESTED IN WATCHING THIS AFTER THEY WATCHED AND LISTEN TO OUR CONVERSATION.

> POV'S QUEST PREMIERES JUNE 18th ON WNET AT 10:00 P.M.

PLEASE CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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