A film by Ivete Lucas & Patrick Bresnan
Steeped in the smell of tacos and burning sugar cane, the sights and sounds of Pahokee, Florida, are portrayed with humid specificity in this heartfelt documentary — yet its story will be entirely familiar to anyone who is, or was, a small-town teenager yearning for a bigger pond. Taking the form of a cinematic yearbook, documenting the trials of four senior-year students as they seek the most secure path to graduation and beyond, Pahokee alternates between Frederick Wiseman-style community observation and less detached, more affectionate character portraiture, notably via the subjects’ cellphone video diaries. The result is … lively and rousing as a generational snapshot, buoyed by the lovable, resilient kids at its heart. (Variety).
Pahokee is a community tightly knit together that struggles with financial insecurities and a bleak future. Through an extremely precise observational approach, the film manages to capture the daily life of the town with a great wealth of nuanced details. From sports events to school beauty contests, the filmmakers observe how, through social and collective rituals, the ideas of gender and identity are publicly displayed while creating new narratives. Moving past the crucial Wiseman lesson, which Lucas and Bresnan have fully absorbed, the film possesses the distinct feel of a Gil Scott Heron song, with its deep streak of rural blues tinged with urban echoes. A complex and multi-layered work that recalls also both the gritty social realism of the new American cinema as well as the neorealist touch. Pahokee is a powerful portrait of a forgotten America absent from the current political discourse.
Friday, April 17, 2020
|Directors||Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan|
|Producers||Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan, Maida Lynn|
|Co Producers||PJ Raval, Laurence Reymond|
|Executive Producers||Linda Dodwell, Michael Bloom, Lisa Leingang, Ryan Heller|
|Sound Designer||Eric Friend|
About the Filmmakers
Ivete Lucas is a film director, editor, and producer. She was born in Brazil and holds an MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin. She started her career in Mexico with a grant from the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE) to direct the short film Asma, which was shortlisted for an Ariel (the Mexican equivalent of the Academy Award). Her short documentary The Send-off, co-directed with Patrick Bresnan, premiered at Sundance in 2016 and won jury awards at SXSW, AFI Fest, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. She directed Roadside Attraction, a documentary short that premiered at Toronto International Film Festival 2017. Skip Day, which she co-directed, premiered at Cannes and was awarded best short film. She co-directed, produced and edited Pahokee, which premiered in the Documentary Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. She is currently in production with her partner Patrick Bresnan on a new feature film about naturism in Central Florida.
Patrick Bresnan is a visual artist and filmmaker. He was born in New York and received his formal education working for notable Mission School artists Clare Rojas and Barry McGee (a.k.a. Twist). He co-directed The Send-off, which premiered at Sundance 2016 and received awards at SXSW, SFIFF, and AFI Fest. He directed The Rabbit Hunt, which premiered in the United States at Sundance 2017 and in Europe at the Berlinale. The film has won 20 awards including the Cinema Eye Honor. In 2017, his short film Roadside Attraction, co-directed with Ivete Lucas, premiered in competition at TIFF. Patrick holds a masters degree in Sustainability from the University of Texas School of Architecture.