“Dayveon” Is A Timely And Important Story

June 2, 2017 — The story of Dayveon (Devin Blackmon) is familiar to many young men growing up in depressed areas, with too little to do and no future hope for.

Dayveon, which premiered at Sundance, is a coming-of-age story about a 13-year old growing up in rural Arkansas. His older brother has died of a gunshot wound — probably a gang-related death — and Dayveon is coping with grief, loneliness and anger.

He hates the “stupid” town he has grown up in, and feels rootless there. He sees no future for himself.

He is attracted to the local gangs — their violence and their camaraderie. In his mind they have come to replace some of the connection he had with his brother. He refuses the gentler attempts of his sister’s boyfriend (the parents are not in the picture), and accepts the ritualized and violent connection that a gang offers to him.

Dayveon, who is barely old enough to have given up his childhood interests, is swept into violence as much because it is there as out of actual choice.

A first feature directed by Amman Abbasi, the 28-year-old Pakistani-American writer-director, Dayveon has a rural setting rather than the citified gang milieu one usually sees.

Dayveon will be released theatrically by FilmRise.

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