Teens gather expressions of “the neighborhood we call home” in Mattapan the Documentary

Teens gather expressions of “the neighborhood we call home” in Mattapan the Documentary

“If you allow other people to tell your story, they will tell the narrative that works for them. “ –Ruth Georges in Mattapan the Documentary

If you don’t live there, you might not know that Mattapan is a special place with rich history, cutting edge art and cultural expressions, and neighbors that have your back.   23-minutes with the newly released “Mattapan the Documentary” will have you wanting to know more.

Film production team at the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm with Urban Farming Institute director Patricia Spence. Photo credit: Dorchester Reporter

Produced by youth from the Mattapan Teen Center and directed by 14-year-old Moses Sibley, the short film captures the perspectives of residents of their home turf.  Among those interviewed are Allentza Michel, Barbara Crichlow, John Papas, Robert Lewis, Jr., Jonathon Gates, Fatima Ali-Salaam, Deatrich Wise, Jr., Mishy Sibley, Donald Caisey, Kenya Beaman, Patricia Spence, Ruth Georges, Brandy Fluker Oakley, and Vivien Morris.

The film also takes viewers to many places that neighbors say make Mattapan special, from the Teen Center at the Boys and Girls Club on Hazelton Street to Hunt Playground, to the hiking trails along the Neponset River.  The film’s producers also visited the historic Fowler Clark Epstein Farm on Norfolk Street to interview Mattapan native Patricia Spence and to learn about the farm’s operation.

Collectively, those interviewed have a lot to say about the unique culture and talents of the neighborhood, and the mischaracterization of Mattapan in the broader media.  It doesn’t take long to see that this is a neighborhood with a big heart that looks out for its neighbors and is replete with talent, not least of which are these young filmmakers.

To read more, visit the Dorchester Reporter’s coverage of the film from the October 20th edition.