In North Philadelphia, the basement home recording studio of Christopher “Quest” Rainey and his wife Chirstine’a “Ma Quest” Rainey is well known as a safe space. A space where all are welcomed, where music is made, and new, local hip-hop artists are nurtured, supported and encouraged to channel their creativity.
But for this longtime resident and music producer, life in North Philly wasn’t (and still isn’t) without adversity.
As of June 14, there have been just nine days in 2018 without someone being shot, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Data Hub. And a quick scroll through the news reveals a dozen or so headlines that give a brief snapshot of the kind of violence neighbors see daily. For many, this has become the norm.
Tonight, the award-winning documentary, QUEST, filmed in a cinema-verite style over the course of 10 years, will premiere nationally on PBS and follows the life of this one American family, their day-to-day in North Philadelphia, and their unconditional love for the neighborhood they call home.
Beginning during the Obama presidency, the film captures the strength of the Rainey family during trauma, and shines a floodlight on how politics, race and class affect us all; the result is a testament to the unwavering power of community. Viewers will be provided an intimate portrayal of the Rainey family, but also encouraged to engage. POV documentary films, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety and WURD Radio, will be using the hashtag #QuestFilmPBS tonight to encourage conversation with the audience.
In addition, dialogue will continue around the film throughout the summer and fall with an emphasis on making resources accessible for Philadelphia schools to utilize in the classroom. Lesson plans, a WURD convening on violence prevention in July, free community screenings, and a civic tech hackathon planned for this fall are all in the works.
Help start the conversation tonight by tuning into WHYY-TV 12 at 10 pm. If you can’t catch it tonight, the film will be available here on June 20, and you can also watch the film for free here for two weeks. See below for additional resources to use before, during and after the film:
- Discussion Guide: A road map for post-screening conversations, including sample discussion prompts and a resource list.
- Lesson Plan: Significant trauma, including witnessing or experiencing violence, is a fact of life for many students. Teachers can feel ill-equipped to help students process their experiences. This lesson provides a curriculum-connected place to start.
- Reading List: Includes books for further exploration of the film’s themes.
QUEST, Monday, June 18, 10 pm, WHYY-TV 12, POV Films