Monday, April 21, 2008

Pact, The DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Three Black Boys from Newark Overcome Odds to Become Doctors

Rameck Hunt, Sampson Davis and George Jenkins grew up in a Newark ghetto where only about 3% of the kids went on to college. And their own prospects probably weren’t any better, given that they were each raised by a single mom in a broken home in a neighborhood blighted by gang violence, drugs, poverty, unemployment and crime.
Yet, this enterprising trio of best friends had the wherewithal to sense that a ticket out of their bleak surroundings might only be an education away. So, before the streets could gobble up their future, they made a mutual pact, promising to support each other in their shared dream of becoming doctors.
Against the odds, all three succeeded in that quest, Sampson and Rameck, as MDs, and George, as a dentist, and this uplifting bio-pic highlights the considerable hurdles they had to overcome on the road to success. For both of Rameck’s parents were crackheads, and he recounts how he’d pray to God everyday asking that just one of them be able to kick the habit.
Sampson, we learn, did a stint in juvenile prison for armed robbery, and had a sister who was HIV+. And George talks about how the absence of a male role model meant he never learned how to do many things most boys take for granted, such as how to shave or tie a tie.
But ultimately, all three came through with flying colors and, despite their busy medical practices, remain very committed to creating academic opportunities for kids still stuck in the slums. In this regard, the film frequently focuses on the fortunes of Malique, their 12 year-old protégé who also serves as narrator.
Overall, an inspiring affirmation of the power of friendship, courage, determination, hard work and faith to sustain even those seemingly trapped in the most dire of circumstances.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 84 minutes
Studio: Spark Media

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