Raising Bertie

First show: June 16

“The documentary brilliantly weaves the young men’s stories together, as they transition from their teens into manhood, engaged in a shared struggle for social and economic survival.”

“[A] starkly poetic film.”

— Brian C. Bush, The Huffington Post


Recorded over six years, Raising Bertie delivers an authentic and tender portrait of the lives of three young boys as they face a precarious coming of age within Bertie County, a rural African-American community in North Carolina.

This raw and starkly poetic vérité documentary weaves the young men’s stories together as the boys navigate school, unemployment, violence, first love, fatherhood, and estrangement from family members and mentors, all while trying to define their identities.

Intimate access depicts an honest portrayal of the boys’ perspectives and an in-depth look at issues facing rural America’s youth and what happens in the everyday lives of young people caught in the complex interplay of generational poverty, economic isolation and educational inequity. Raising Bertie is an experience that asks us to see this world through their eyes and incites recognition and empathetic understanding of lives and communities too often ignored.

Directed by Margaret Byrne 2016 USA 102 min

Co-produced by Kartemquin films, the award-winning, Chicago-based company best known for its 1994 documentary, Hoop Dreams. North Carolina native and Grammy-nominated hip-hop star, J. Cole, is also on the film’s team, serving as one of the executive producers.

About the Director –




Raising Bertie: Upcoming Showtimes