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What to know: Thoughtful, almost suspenseful tribute to all black and brown lives lost before and after the Black Lives Matter movement.
BREATHE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 8-18
5 minutes
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Breathe is a thoughtful, yet almost suspenseful tribute to all black and brown lives lost before and after the Black Lives Matter movement. How the unnecessary loss of life effects the psyche of a young man as he strolls by the tributes laid to those lost - flowers, candles and names woven into a chain-link fence - hits home to this viewer. This film is deeply touching because it is simple, non-violent and personally connects to the key person in the film.

Powerfully underscored by Ty Taylor's a-cappella song "Gut-Wrencher," which is spot-on haunting and prayerful, and director-producer Cheray O'Neal's poetry of loss is the question," Why?" Breathe speaks to my heart with every step that Kobi (Chase Tillman) takes in this short film. The poem "Breather" by Cheray O'Neal says it all. It is not a reckoning, but it is a beautiful call for our hearts and eyes to open. I must give credit to all of the crew, especially cinematographer Lee Cherry and editor Bryant Robinson. There is not one second of this film that I didn't find "breathtaking."

The message is that racism is perhaps propagated by parents and a system that ensures discrimination, but that it can also be unlearned by empathy and a system that encourages love and understanding.

I rate Breathe 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. By Nancy K., KIDS FIRST!

The short film Breather is a powerful, visual five-minute testimony, in the aftermath of George Floyd's televised death.

A young man slowly walks down the road to haunting hymnal music. We watch and listen to prophetic words - "people protesting, so what," hash-tag, twitter, so what." We see what looks to be a father and son walk by with masks on that say, "I can't breathe." We see the young man visit a makeshift grave with signs of those "hunted down, choked, shot and killed." We see the names of Tamara Rice, Sandra Bland and Breona Taylor amongst other signs. The young man walks on and sees the Trayvon Martin's name boldly displayed. We see a sign - Black Lives Matter - Take Action. We see candles burning, flowers laid on unmarked graves, cards of sympathy. There are spoken words about "destruction and chaos." There is a vigil for George Floyd and it ends powerfully with the words: "If I can't breathe, neither can you."

This film is a testament and a message to the next generations to march on and to fight on for peace and justice. The time is now.

I give Breathe 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. I highly recommend it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Reviewed by Terry S., KIDS FIRST!

One young man's journey to find inner peace days after George Floyd's televised murder. Be witness to this spoken word visual testimony about the power of the human spirit, and the unapologetic resilience of our youth. Kobi, a black sweet- shy seventeen year old skips school to meet his friends for a George Floyd vigil. On his adventure; love, loss, fear and friendship become his greatest allies, or his worst nightmare.
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