WE GROWN NOW – Review by Nikki Fowler

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The most striking element of We Grown Now outside of the outstanding actors including the young Blake Cameron James (Malik) and Gian Knight Ramirez (Eric) starring as two young friends growing up in the Cabrini Green public housing projects in 1990’s Chicago, is the extreme care and many times poetic take that director and writer Minhal Baig delivers with her research, story and her young cast. Despite growing up in Chicago she didn’t have first hand knowledge of the Cabrini Green community but knew enough of the racist, classist and oppressive history and the fear many had of going near the government housing project riddled with violence, including the story of real life Dantrell Davis, a young child who was shot on his way to school which rocked the community in 1992. After losing her own father the director took a deeper look at the idea of “home” and what it means when you no longer have the one you grew up in, as her family debated what to do with their own family property, when she returned back to Chicago after college to comparatively see Cabrini Green Projects demolished. Rather than pull ideas to reinforce her own story, Baig took her time to listen to the stories of not just families from the 90s but those from the 70s and found her arc within her research, predominately from a child’s perspective. The result is a powerful and beautifully directed film on family, friendship, love, survival and empathy on this crime ridden community.

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Nikki Fowler

Nikki Fowler is the founder and publisher of Glitter Magazine, and a seasoned critic, writer, journalist and host accredited with the Motion Pictures Association. She skyrocketed Glitter to national status within one issue, taking the title to Barnes and Noble, Target, Walmart, and over 30 other national retailers. Glitter was a glossy magazine found on over 3000 newsstands in every US state. It is now completely digital. Nikki is a graduate of Rutgers College. Rutgers University, with a degree in English. She is a member of AWFJ and AAFCA.