While all young adults struggle with finding their voice and their path, those with a history in foster care have complexities that are hard to understand.
Typically, the relationships with intergenerational allies – both biological family and friends, help us navigate this difficult transition to adulthood. But what happens when these allies are non-existent? What if those who went before us are the reason why we question our very existence? These are the questions highlighted by our very own Angelica Nwandu & Jordana Spiro in what LA Times dubbed an "Emotionally poignant film".
The Director, Jordana, is a former Peace4Kids volunteer and supporter. The co-writer, Angelica (Angie), is an alumna of Peace4Kids and currently sits on our Board of Directors. I do not endorse this film because of my personal ties. In fact, my deeply connected relationship to Angie made watching this film a much more painful experience.
I have mentored Angie for the past 15 years of her life. I have witnessed her attempt to anchor her story and heal from the pain of her past. I have watched the dynamics with her sisters shift while her doubts sent her into the darkest corners of her soul. I have also witnessed her find the light and transform her pain into inspiration. Intimately knowing the darkness has given her the ability to see opportunity where others are too afraid to go.
Great stories connect to us in ways that we didn’t know was possible. We find parts of ourselves in the characters as they discover more about the world around them. In addition, we gain new perspective on the diversity of the human experience. What was once foreign to us now feels familiar.
Conflict is the secret ingredient in these great stories. It drives characters to challenge their values and fears as they seek solutions to difficult problems. As an audience, we get to witness their internal struggles as they play out in real time. Doubt can become an ally or foe simply based on how willing the character is to face it. This is what makes a story feel deeply personal. Even if the characters are worlds apart from our own experience, it's inspiring to watch as they face their fears and stare down the doubts that keep them chained to a reality that no longer serves them.
This is what I love about the film Night Comes On. It’s an authentic portrayal of the foster care journey. The central character, Angel, is scarred by a past that anchors her beliefs about a grim future. At eighteen years old, she is released from a juvenile detention facility and is forced to face the reality her past has shaped for her; the death of her mother at the hands of her father. Angel takes a journey with her 10-year old sister, who is also in foster care, in the hopes of avenging her mother’s death.
It comes as no surprise that Night Comes On has scored 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Seeing the film Angie and Jordana created has been a remarkable experience and I encourage you to see the film while in theaters for a limited time. Check your local listings, or stream it today through Youtube or Google Play!
Over the years, watching Angie discover her inherent gifts has been an indescribable blessing. Thank you to Angie and Jordana for providing the world with an opportunity to understand the heroic journeys youth in foster care take every day.
As we celebrate our 20 Year Anniversary, we encourage you to take a lesson from our youth and embrace the traumas that have shaped your life. To #SeeTheHero and to affirm your greatness.
Step into our Heroes Circle by clicking the button below and making a monthly donation to help build a sustainable future for youth transitioning out of foster care. 100% of your donation funds strength based, youth focused programming in South LA - honoring each youth’s unique needs, experiences, abilities and legacy. In return, you'll:
- Be invited to exclusive events
- Receive a limited edition 20 Year Anniversary t-shirt
- Be inspired by stories of resilience, strength and promise from our Peace4Kids family
- #SeeTheHero in our youth, because the truth is… that’s who they are.