After being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Eric Butler moves to Oakland, California, in an impassioned effort to mentor troubled minority youth. The documentary reveals Eric’s no-nonsense approach to counseling for vulnerable Black and Latinx teenagers and reimagines standard approaches to school discipline. Butler’s restorative justice movement replaces sudden suspensions and expulsions with intimate and honest mentorship. By creating an open space for conversation, at-risk students are able to build trust and realize their potential. After his own son is arrested, Butler reevaluates his responsibilities as both father and teacher to be the leader that he never had growing up.
The 2018 Virginia Film Festival runs November 1-4, 2018.