‘Bronx Princess’ in the News

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Rocky Otoo, 17, center, stands with her father, Nii Adjedu, left, and her mother 'Auntie' Yaa Otoo, right, in the Bronx, NY.

Rocky Otoo, 17, center, stands with her father, Nii Adjedu, left, and her mother “Auntie” Yaa Otoo, right, in the Bronx, NY. Credit: Photo by Yoni Brook/Highbridge Pictures

POV aired the last film of our 2009 season last night on PBS. Bronx Princess is the story of Rocky Otoo, the Bronx-bred teenage daughter of Ghanaian parents, and she’s no pushover. She is a sassy high-achiever bound for college. With freedom in sight, Rocky rebels against her mother’s rules. When their relationship reaches a breaking point, Rocky flees to her father, a chief in Ghana. What follows is captured in Bronx Princess, a tumultuous coming-of-age story set in a homeland both familiar and strange.

Rocky, now a 19-year-old junior at Dickinson College, and filmmakers Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed, appeared on NPR’s Here on Earth program yesterday. You can listen to the interview online at the Wisconsin Public Radio website or download the mp3.

Bassam Tariq writes on the BoingBoing blog that “Musa Syeed and Yoni Brook, the co-directors of the film, have crafted a powerful and intimate story of a young girl transitioning from high school to college all with the pressures of an immigrant family. …The generational gap issues raised in this film are ones that many immigrant kids, like myself, can relate to.” Read full review »

The New York Times ArtsBeat blogger Mike Hale recommends the film and points out that Bronx Princess “reverses the usual immigration narrative.” TV and Film Sound Off blogger Alex Roberts adds his own clever subtitle to Bronx Princess, “Pride and Petulance,” adding “Rocky is clearly a force to be reckoned with and this documentary addresses generational and cultural conflicts in a frank and compelling fashion.” Read full review »

You can watch Bronx Princess in its entirety on the PBS Video Player today through October 23, 2009. You can also ask Rocky your own questions, watch additional video and learn more about the film at the Bronx Princess website.

  • Melissa Mize

    FOREIGNID: 20849
    poem – MY BIRD
    Loved the show both times I watched it this week. I felt a mothers heart strings being pulled, as the little bird stretched her wings to ready leaving the nest. It hit others in the nest up side the face a few times, but that is part of growing up. We feel you are learning to do right, especially with both your parents guiding you to DO RIGHT in life. God bless you Rocky. I cried seeing similarities in you and my own daughter. I miss her too. She is away in the Air Force. Sadly, you can never go back home to the nest. We are always so quickly to leave, but once gone realize what a good thing we had when we came from a loving stable family.
    I enjoyed seeing Rocky’s education, as she learned (like most teens) they are not so smart. At the end I cried as I saw a mother-daughters love challenged and strengthen. I turned off the TV and wrote this inspiring poem, on behalf of my own daughter who is currently in the U.S. Air Force.
    MY BIRD – by Melissa C. Murphy-Mize
    I sat in tears and tried to hide,
    my small Bird that lived inside.
    She sang so joyously in tune,
    to the sun and to the moon.
    She hid when lightening strikes were round,
    or when loud sounds abruptly bound.
    But one day Bird hithered near,
    and soon at edges nest appeared.
    Passers-by stood froze to hear,
    paralyzed with song in ear.
    And then my Bird stretched her wings,
    exposing color, grace and strength.
    A nearby branch upon a tree,
    beckoned Bird to come to thee.
    From that day on, Bird came and went,
    and less time at her nest she spent.
    Now to the world Bird sings in tune,
    awakens sun, and kisses moon.
    And passers-by, paralyzed in love,
    look to God through Bird above.
    (This poem written to my dear daughter Ashley, whom from birth to flight I have LOVED and admired in life. To all Birds leaving the nest, keep strong and sing Gods song. He will bring love and joy to you, the same as you bring to others.)
    by Melissa C. Murphy-Mize from Montgomery, Texas

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.brock Kimberly Brock

    FOREIGNID: 20885
    I thought this documentary was excellent, what more can I say…?

  • DHairston91

    FOREIGNID: 20934
    Dear Mama,
    I would like to say thank you because when i was sick as a little kid there was no limit to tha thing you did for me and even tho i put you through hell you was always there and even when i was hopeless, you said a few word to get me focus. i wish i could take all the pain away that. when i leave charlestown to go to college my plan is to show you that i understand.

  • Adwoa

    FOREIGNID: 21116
    Rocky’s story is very touching. I see many parallels between her life and many others I know (including mine). She shows such admirable maturity and grace! I am glad you have found a worthy audience, Rocky (because that is important too). Reach for the stars–you can achieve anything.
    By the way, Melissa M-M, that is a beautiful poem!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U38D6kC_uSw Nancy | Bitrate Calculator

    FOREIGNID: 23054
    Thnx for offering this content as an mp3 download. I much prefer this format so I can listen to the content whilst out walking or in the car.