Play Trailer


Fri Aug 6 11:00 AM

Arc Cinema
General Admission
83 Mins
2020 | DCP |USA| D: James Rutenbeck  

The NFSA is proud to partner with the Clemente Canberra Program and the St Vincent de Paul Society to present this special screening of A Reckoning in Boston as part of National Homeless Week. 

Kafi, 44, sharp, witty and restless, dropped out of school at 15. She had her first baby a year later and two more soon after. Carl, 65, who lives on a small pension and disability payment in one of Boston’s most dangerous neighbourhoods, began studying with a keen interest in learning but little faith in educational institutions.  

Filmmaker James Rutenbeck documents their engagement with the courses offered through the Clemente program. As he spends time with Kafi and Carl, he is awakened to the violence, racism and gentrification that threaten their very place in the city.  

Troubled by his failure to bring the film together, he spends more time listening than filming and enlists Kafi and Carl as collaborators and producers with a share in the film’s revenues. Five years on, despite many obstacles, Kafi and Carl arrive at surprising new places in their lives. Following their lead, James does too.

Whilst this movie focuses on Boston, the issues of inequalitystructural racism and housing insecurity are similar to Canberra, with currently 2,853 people listed on the ACT Housing waitlist. 

The Clemente Program, offered through a partnership between St Vincent de Paul and the Australian Catholic University (ACU), provides people who have experienced disadvantage with access to tertiary-level education. It aims to break the cycle of poverty, inequality and social injustice for marginalised people by giving them opportunities to engage with society in a meaningful way.  

St Vincent de Paul, who partner with ACU in Canberra, will have their Night Patrol van at the NFSA to talk about how the organisation further supports the community.    

Join us after the screening for a Q&A with director James Rutenbeck and documentary subject Kafi Dixon 

‘An absolute must-see'  The Boston Globe 

Arc Cinema

1 McCoy Circuit Acton, Australian Capital Territory, 2601