ACMI Presents

Quest: A Portrait of an American Family


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“Superb. A living, breathing, stunning documentary”


The Raineys are a working poor African American family living in an economically depressed neighbourhood of North Philly. What they lack in material resources they make up for with boundless reserves of dignity, love, pragmatism and resilience. Christine'a 'Ma' Rainey works in a women's shelter, Christopher 'Quest' Rainey delivers papers and runs a home recording studio that provides a creative sanctuary for young would-be rappers and their youngest daughter - bright, confident PJ - shoots hoops and wants to be a deejay.

Filmed with vérité intimacy over a decade, Jonathan Olshefski's deftly edited documentary follows the Rainey family through everyday wins and challenges as well as unexpected moments of crisis that up the emotional stakes significantly. An essential reflection of life during Barack Obama’s presidency that also references the 2016 U.S. election campaign in which then-presidential candidate Donald Trump infamously appealed to African-Americans to vote for him because "what the hell [did they] have to lose", Quest is a tender-tough depiction of an American family who choose to live with love, healing and hope in the face of adversity.

"A classic tale of love, family, and tenacious hope...a sweeping and intimate documentary" IndieWire 

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