FilmFilm FestivalsMovie ReviewsTribeca Film Festival Documentary Review – All These Sons

IMDb summary: On Chicago's South and West sides, guns and gangs are destroying countless lives. Two men dedicate their lives educating, empowering and healing young Black men at high risk for being victims-or perpetrators of deadly gun-violence.
JulieGJune 15, 202170/1007 min
Year of Release
Tribeca Film Festival
88 mins
Film Festival
Tribeca 2021
Overall Score
Rating Summary
All These Sons Tribeca Documentary Review

Reviewed for Keithlovesmovies by Julie  

It’s hard to watch a documentary about struggle and survival without feeling like you’re not up to the task of writing about it. The synopsis for this documentary doesn’t give much away other than you’re expecting to see awful things happen. But there are a few positive things that people living in the “bad” neighbourhoods on Chicago’s South and West sides are doing about their situation. These men give the younger generation hope that their situation can change.

From the team that brought “Minding The Gap” to theatres in 2018, All These Sons aims to deliver an insider’s perspective on the volatility, violence and crime that threatens the lives of these young men daily. And it focuses on two men who have experienced life in the worst neighbourhoods in Chicago and have lived to talk about it and heal while trying to save others from a similar life experience.

All These Sons captures both sides of the struggle from the perspective of the young men caught in the midst of all the gun violence and gang banging and their older peers who are fighting to save whomever they can. It literally is a fight, an uphill battle to try and avoid another young man becoming just another statistic.

In this film, the two main organisations featured are the I.M.A.N and the MAAFA Redemption Project, both faith-based charities that focus on helping men “at-risk” of falling victim to the criminal elements in Chicago. Statistically, Chicago is worse than both Los Angeles and New York for crime-related deaths in 2020 (as explained in this documentary). That gives you some real food for thought. What these men are trying to achieve is amazing in the face of insurmountable odds, which is probably why Oprah Winfrey supports their cause.


All These Sons works incredibly well as a documentary made to educate and raise awareness about the plight of young men of colour in Chicago. It follows several key characters through various aspects of their lives. And it attempts to address how and why so many young men are at risk in these neighbourhoods. And how some of them are learning to rise above it one step at a time. For men like Sharmont Slaughter (pictured above with MAAFA co-founder Marshall Hatch Jr), it is a difficult road to follow. Yet, there is an authenticity to the content covered in this documentary that is impossible to ignore.

This documentary will surely raise eyebrows and give those of us who know little about the rising crime rates in Chicago an understanding of the real-life struggles these young men face. It is a poignant and interesting film and one movie I won’t forget any time soon.

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