Thumbs Up From!

You know it's a good review when your film is mentioned in the same breath as Truffaut! We're thrilled to get the thumbs up endorsement of and really moved by the touching review from Nick Allen.

Here are some of the highlights:

“For Ahkeem” is the concise, heartfelt work of documentarians Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest, but tells its very intimate story as if it were the cinematic diary made by its center focus, a 17-year-old black American named Daje “Boonie” Shelton...

“For Ahkeem” is a special achievement in the underrated art of documentary camera placement, with Levine and Van Soest able to both cover many intimate conversations the way a scripted film would (two cameras, in close-up), but never intrude on the emotional space so often allotted to them. Along with an editorial focus that creates emotional mini-episodes in the life of Daje, it has a strong, unfussy aesthetic. The visual poetry within this story comes naturally, like when Daje is shown at the end sitting on a beach with her baby, a fitting echo to the coming-of-age ambiguity of “The 400 Blows.” 

As the documentary shares the story of Daje, the beauty of its title lingers: “For Ahkeem.” A dedication. Working with such raw life, this documentary becomes an enthralling gesture from one generation to another, for the Dajes, Antoinos, and Ahkeems, so that they can see but also be seen. It echoes one of the many declarations said to Daje, with dire hope that it is believed: “You know you’re gonna make, it right?”