Romeo Is Bleeding



Donté Clark, like many teenagers, had little interest in reading Romeo and Juliet in high school. But now, at age 22, he sees far too many similarities between the tragic tale and his life in Richmond, California—a city overwhelmed by a deadly turf war between two feuding neighborhoods. Donté has witnessed friends and family fall victim to gun violence. Still, he is determined not to share the fate of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. Director Jason Zeldes' documentary ROMEO IS BLEEDING follows Donté as spoken word poetry changes the course of his life. Inspired by English teacher Molly Raynor, Donté and his peers in the spoken word program RAW Talent set out to write and perform a contemporary adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set in Richmond. Through their take on the classic play, the young poets not only find a way to express their individual struggles, but they also build a sense of community both on and off the stage. (Cleveland International Film Festival)