Film Review: WHILE I HOPE, I BREATH: BAKARI SELLER
By Yevette Renee Nelson
Director: Emily L. Harrod
Cast: Bakari Sellers, Cleveland Sellers, Ellen Rucker Sellers, Gwen Williamson Sellers|
Age is literally just a number when it comes to the political rise of Bakari Sellers who connects with the residents of South Carolina to win election at 22 years of age.
Director Emily Harrod’s documentary, “While I Hope, I Breath” trails Bakari Sellers. A young, gifted and black man, who became the youngest politician ever elected to a statewide office in South Carolina, after defeating his rival, a 26-year incumbent. He went on to represent the 90th district in South Carolina’s state legislature. He vacated his seat to run for Lt. Governor in 2014 and lost to Republican challenger McMaster. He went on to become the First Vice Chairman of the state’s democratic party.
Prior to getting into politics, he graduated from Morehouse, a historically black, all male private liberal arts college in Atlanta, Ga and received his law degree from
Homage is paid to the 50th Anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre at the annual Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial, named after the three black male protesters who were killed by South Carolina highway patrol officers in February 1968 at South Carolina State. An additional 2 dozen people were also injured including Bakari’s father Cleveland Seller, a professor and civil rights activist.
The violence perpetrated on the black community of South Carolina was brought full circle when Sellers acknowledged his good friend, and fellow state congressman Clementa C. Pinckney and eight others were murdered during bible study at the Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church in 2015.
A documentary that gives an open and honest look at Bakari Sellers young life, including his videotaped DUI stop that was leaked.
The documentary is a great way to get his story out, on his own terms. It is apparent as he is getting his story during his meet and greets with supporters and potential voters, that his strong support with African American women is largely responsible for his elections victories. The support of African American women in the 2020 election will also determine who wins the presidential elections.
You know you are in good company when President Barack Obama gives strong words of support. Obama refers to Sellers as “up-and-coming” with an impressive political future, not only behind him, but ahead of him too.
Run time: 72 minutes
Cast: Bakari Sellers, Cleveland Sellers, Ellen Rucker Sellers, Gwen Williamson
Director: Emily L. Harrod
Executive Producer: Marco Williams, Jedd Canty, Charlamagne tha God, Karen Kinney
Producer: Emily Harrold, Diane Robertson, Lauren Franklin, Xuan Vu
Production Co: Lynwood Pictures
Cinematography: Alexander J. Hufschmd, Kyle I Kelley, Kelly Creedon
Editor: Xuan Vu
Music: Eric Andrew Kuhn
Sound: Michael Jones