Jeffrey M. Togman’s Home, like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, is about renovation, only this is a richer work because its focus is more on the reconstruction of family than the rebuilding of an actual house. “Watch me, I’m your model,” Sheree Farmer casually reveals, knowing full well what awaits her children on the streets of Newark if she lets them slip away for too long. The opportunity of a lifetime presents itself when No Community Corporation offers Farmer and other families from her low-income neighborhood the chance to purchase a place to live—away from the drug dealers who taunt their children—for $125,000, down from $245,000 because of government subsidies. (Unknown to Farmer, football player Jason Sehorn’s non-profit foundation has also selected the woman to have her new house fully furnished and supplied with food.) This gesture is symbolic (the homes are built on the epicenter of the 1967 riots), and though it’s an offer that may seem impossible to resist, Farmer does just that—and to the disappointment of No Community Corporation’s Mary Rigby-Abernathy, a great humanitarian spirit recently diagnosed with breast cancer who took a 75% pay cut years ago in order to help people like Farmer. There are two stories at play here—Farmer’s distrust of people who promise good things and the Rigby-Abernathy’s desire to give back to a world—and though the documentary’s objectivity is put to the test every time Togman interacts with these women from behind the camera, the filmmaker, with minimal hysteria, illuminates both the emotional deprivation ghetto life can perpetuate and the legit forces of good out to ease that pain.
- Killer Arts LLC
- 78 min
- Jeffrey M. Togman
- Sheree Farmer, Mary Rigby-Abernathy, Jalishah Farmer, Jason Schorn
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