In 2002, as part of an innovative program targeting at-risk inner-city youth, 20 African-American boys are selected to attend a two-year course at the Baraka School in Kenya. This engrossing documentary follows them on their journey from the mean streets of Baltimore to the African savannah, where specially trained teachers and counselors try to help them work through their respective issues. In this exotic yet demanding environment, they’re offered a chance to grow and succeed. Will they all be able to seize the opportunity?
Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady offer an intelligent, insightful look at the cruel realities of life in the crime-ridden ghettos of Baltimore, a city where only one-quarter of young black men will ever graduate high school and most, as one counselor grimly notes, will wind up in jail, or dead. "Baraka" takes us into the school hallways and homes of its three principal subjects, and features poignant one-on-one interviews with teachers, family members, and the boys themselves, whose honesty about the circumstances of their lives seem to collide against their best hopes and dreams. The Baraka School may be a safe haven from the streets, but it has its own hardships, too. Join these "Boys" on their challenging yet compelling journey.