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17 Blocks

Directed by: Davy Rothbart | 2021 | 1h 36m | Unrated

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OPENED ON 2/19/21
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• General Admission – $12.00

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These are challenging times for everyone and while we have temporarily closed our theater for the greater good, we are truly pleased to announce a new initiative that will allow us to continue sharing cinematic gems with you by bringing the art house directly into your house! Thanks to our distributor partners, we now have the ability to offer our audience the chance to watch films which have not yet been made available on any other streaming platform! O Cinema has always been your mission-driven, community-based nonprofit art house theater and we remain dedicated to educating, entertaining and inspiring. Your support with this purchase will help O Cinema remain a cultural and cinematic beacon in our community.

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Footage from two decades of intimate home video is used to tell the story of the Sanford family, who live just 17 blocks from the U.S. Capitol and whose struggles with addiction and gun violence lead them through a journey of love, loss, and acceptance.

Nine-year old Emmanuel began filming himself and his family with a home video camera in 1999, capturing his Washington D.C. neighborhood through the eyes of an innocent child. Growing up just 17 blocks from the U.S. Capitol, however, proved more difficult than expected. Filmmaker, journalist, and frequent This American Life contributor Davy Rothbart befriended the Sanford family as they continued to document their daily life over a 20-year period in a city plagued by poverty, addiction, and gun violence. What resulted from this uniquely collaborative effort between Rothbart and the family is a transcendent portrait of the unwavering strength of familial bonds. The film follows the characters through periods of joy and sadness, all captured on tape with stunning intimacy. This incredibly touching non-fiction odyssey offers a remarkable look into the lives of one family who was brave enough to share their story with the world.

” ’17 Blocks’ is essential viewing for anyone interested in how the confluence of race and class have codified into a sort of informal caste for an entire subsection of America’s citizenry.”
– THE PLAYLIST

“More than just a singular achievement in documentary filmmaking, “17 Blocks” is the result of the Sanford family’s profound act of bravery.”
– VARIETY

“A remarkably raw and heartfelt piece of filmmaking…”
– ROGEREBERT.COM