Sundance Review: 'Quest' Is A Sobering But Warm Welcome Into The Lives Of A North Philly
More often than not, impoverished communities, especially those in inner cities are cast aside and forgotten about. Film, along with the rest of the world rarely pays attention to the people who live in these neighborhoods and the events that occur within them. Unless the film’s narrative is one of unimaginable tragedy or a rags-to-riches tale; one would assume from what cinema shows us, that these communities and these very real people don’t exist at all. With his beautiful and gently paced debut feature documentary “Quest,” director Jonathan Olshefski shatters the stereotypes of the inner city by giving one family a platform. We are introduced to the Raineys, an ordinary family living in North Philadelphia shortly after President Barack Obama’s first election in 2008.
We meet Christopher “Quest” Rainey and his to-be wife, Christine’a “Ma Quest” Rainey a few days before their wedding. Though the duo had been a couple for nearly two decades by that time; with a twenty-one-year-old son, William and a thirteen-year-old daughter PJ; the pair is eager for their impending nuptials. We watch as the couple is bonded in matrimony in a sea of pink and white roses with Christine’a donning a glittery tiara. The film slides forward, slowly marking time mostly through television broadcasts of Obama as he addresses the nation about various horrific mass shootings. PJ propelling forward into teenhood and her constant growth spurts are perhaps the other only time markers.
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Image: Quest Film