A group of creative writing students risk everything to inspire change in their impoverished community.
“Romeo Is Bleeding (working title) is a documentary about young artists inspiring change in an impoverished city. The students of Richmond California’s creative writing group, RAW Talent (Richmond Artists With Talent), are no strangers to trauma. Their city is small but the homicide rate is abnormally high, with teens killing each other over turf divisions between North and Central Richmond. In a community so deeply entrenched in a cycle of retaliation, there are many dead-end streets and few positive outlets. Yet the students at RAW Talent have found their voices through spoken word poetry and are determined to change Richmond with their art.
The film will follow the students and staff of RAW Talent as they prepare their biggest show to date, Te’s Harmony, a modern re-telling of Romeo and Juliet set in Richmond. The Shakespearean masterpiece has been reworked into spoken word poetry and Richmond vernacular, creating an allegory for the conditions haunting Richmond and its youngest citizens. RAW Talent students see their own story reflected within this tragedy, and dare to believe in a different ending.
Leading RAW Talent in its efforts is Donte Clark, RAW Talent’s first member and greatest success story. Donte turned his life around after being introduced to poetry, transforming from a troubled student into a community leader and role model. Now Donte is the Assistant Director of RAW Talent, a teacher, and the playwright behind RAW Talent’s adaptation.
Donte has devoted his life to creating a peaceful Richmond, because he has experienced first hand how violence and trauma can derail young lives. Along with the rest of the RAW Talent staff, Donte works every day to change the inner-city perspective of masculinity and end the cycle of violence in Richmond. Undeterred by the dangers associated with being the voice of peace, Donte continues to inspire change through his art, and the succesfful production of Te’s Harmony would represent his greatest achievement yet.”