In 1999, nine-year-old Emmanuel Sanford-Durant and his Washington, D.C. family began to film their daily lives in America's most dangerous neighborhood—just 17 blocks behind the U.S. Capitol building. They've been filming ever since. Includes pre-recorded Q&A with director Davy Rothbart and subjects Cheryl & Smurf Sanford, moderated by Academy Award winner Marshall Curry and Michael-Sean Spence from Everytown for Gun Safety.
Made in a unique collaboration with filmmaker and journalist Davy Rothbart, the film focuses on four generations of the Sanford Family, including Emmanuel, a promising student, his brother Smurf, a local drug dealer, his sister Denice, an aspiring cop, and his mother Cheryl, who must conquer her own demons for her family to prosper.
Spanning two decades, 17 Blocks illuminates a nation's ongoing crisis through one family's raw, stirring, and deeply personal saga.
“A remarkably raw and heartfelt piece of filmmaking... 17 Blocks reminded me of the deep humanism of Steve James’ work.”—RogerEbert.com
- Director: Davy Rothbart
- Country: USA
- Year: 2019
- Running Time: 96 min.
- Producer: Michael B Clark, Alex Turtletaub, Rachel Dengiz
- Screenplay: Jennifer Tiexiera
- Editors: Jennifer Tiexiera
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: Tribeca Film Festival 2019 (Best Editing), Woodstock Film Festival 2019 (Best Documentary), Nashville Film Festival 2019 (Aiudience Award)
- Language: English