About the Film
12-year-old Josh is a mixed race boy and a promising baseball player. He is abused by his mother’s boyfriend Byrd, and neglected by his mother Debbie. He manages to forge his own path in life when his long-lost grandfather Solomon insists he study for his Bar Mitzvah.
Despite life’s many disappointments Byrd (Andre Royo) still believes in the promise of the American Dream. Already 40, his time has seemingly come and gone. His one last chance of achieving it is through his stepson Josh’s prodigious talent on the baseball field. But Byrd knows that talent isn’t everything; discipline, hard work, and focus will all play their part and he is ready to guide Josh to achieve what he himself never could.
Reality Check - Debbie (Daisy Haggard) waits tables to cover the bills and put food on the table while Byrd pushes Josh day and night, through blistered feet and calloused hands, to be a baseball star. It’s the only thing that matters and one day Josh will rise up and out of Opa Locka – Miami’s roughest neighborhood – into the Major Leagues bringing the whole family with him, to the big house with a swimming pool out back and Lexus in the driveway.
Buoyed by Josh’s potential Byrd spends his stepson’s projected earnings on drugs and get-rich-quick schemes that take him nowhere fast. Josh just keeps his head down, trying to ignore the violence in his home, walking on eggshells with his baseball bat in hand.
On the brink of eviction – Broken by her drinking, the bad boys, and the constant shame, Debbie drags herself to her estranged father Solomon (Hans Howes). She brokers a deal: $10,000 and in exchange Josh will discover his Jewish roots and have a Bar Mitzvah.
Josh swaps the bat for the tallit – Rabbi Brookstein comes along and Josh never knew that a Jew could be so cool. While Byrd sinks deeper into depravity, the Rabbi becomes a game changer, and unlocks in Josh the potential he never even knew he had. Will Byrd lose everything or keep flying high with no place to land?
Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2013