MATTHEW NEWTON’S WRENCHING FILM ABOUT UNDOCUMENTED HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN THE BRONX COULD HARDLY BE MORE PERTINENT
Here three young school students from different backgrounds are equally trying to conceal their illegal immigrant status from friends and authorities as well as trying to gain citizenship status through ongoing negotiations with seemingly uncaring immigration lawyer.
Between both is their teacher Jackie (Nicholson) who is trying her best to guide them to a viable future.
In this world for these teenagers even the slightest misdemeanour can have the most devastating consequence. As such the individual stories oscillate between normality and peril in the blink of an eye, something that provides the film with a potent sense of urgency for each of the players.
Newton expertly allows every character to speak for themselves and in so doing slowly peels away the many layers of the complex lives and relationships of the individuals and families. The film is always tense with a sense that at any time we’ll be witness to the most explosive of situations.
It’s close-quarters drama. Urgent and very well played.