In a shabby motel room in California's Central Valley, Kiki showers, fixes her hair and cheerfully repeats her father's promise to buy her a condo. Outside her door is a living hell of drugs, prostitution, and bitter regrets. This is Modesto's South Ninth Street, or "the Nine," a neighborhood on the nightmare end of the American dream and the setting for dustbowl stories like Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and the hard-luck portraits of Dorothea Lange. Katy Grannan's intimate documentary explores the lives of those who struggle with their past tragedies and current addictions. The filmmaker’s delicate but deepening focus on the mystery of Kiki—whose clinging, childlike world-view belongs to someone a fraction of her actual age—looks for answers in those around her, who still dream of reuniting with their children, working a garden, running a mud wrestling club. Despite their ravaged lives, their songs burst out with a terrible and unflinching beauty.
Guests in attendance 10/11 & 10/12: Katy Grannan (director), Marc Smolowitz (producer), John McNeil (executive producer) and Nils Peyron (executive producer)