Price: $350.00

    Code: 2500

    Directed by Laura Checkoway
    2014, 75 minutes
    Purchase: $350 | Classroom rental: $125

    Executive produced by Steve James (The Interrupters, Life Itself), Lucky is an unforgettable, candid portrait of a young Puerto Rican woman, a single mother, homeless, and struggling to find work, yet still passionately dreaming of true love and success.

    Journalist Laura Checkoway spent more than six years following Lucky and has captured an experience rarely depicted onscreen with refreshing authenticity. Checkoway has never shied away from complicated characters and in Lucky, she found one young woman's story of survival that represents to the lives of so many.

    Lucky Torres masks a lifetime of abuse and abandonment behind an angry, tattooed exterior. Growing up in foster care, Lucky and her sister Fantasy have struggled with stability all their lives. While her sister has settled down, Lucky still hasn't found her way.

    The film accompanies Lucky as she tries to make her way through the rough and unforgiving streets of New York City, hustling the system to keep afloat. Moving from shelter to shelter, Lucky struggles to provide for herself and her young son. With no safety net, Lucky has managed to survive a generation lost to drugs, AIDS and urban blight. She is a proud lesbian and carries this with her through the many bigger struggles that she faces.

    Through her story, myriad social issues come powerfully to light, such as the flaws of foster care and social services, systemic poverty, urban blight, LGBT discrimination and homelessness.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Winner, Best Feature Documentary, Urbanworld Film Festival
    * Official Selection, Hot Docs
    * Official Selection, DOC NYC
    * Official Selection, MICGéneroThe International Film Festival with Gender Perspective


    "A powerful documentary."- Indiewire

    "Representations of queer women of color in film are still hard to come by, particularly one as intimate and jarring as Lucky. There’s nothing soft about this surprising and brutally honest film.” – Colorlines

    "Checkoway brings an extraordinary intimacy and sensitivity to her subject.” – Filmmaker Magazine

       "Recommended. An engaging portrait of a colorful character." - Video Librarian

    "Poignant. Lucky profiles the courage of a determined and talented woman who has the strength and “luck” to transform her life and leave her unfortunate past behind. This film would be useful to university students contemplating a career in social work."-Anthropology Review Database

    “Checkoway provides a powerful and vivid look into the struggle for survival among homeless youth in urban America. Lucky will both inform and inspire students to better understand and support young people without homes.”
    -Shawn Ginwright, Ph.D.
    College of Ethnic Studies
    Senior Research Associate, Cesar Chavez Institute for Public Policy
    San Francisco State University

    “Harrowing, gripping, intimate portrayal of one woman's struggle to navigate life at the intersection of numerous social and institutional systems.Lucky illuminates the impact of race, poverty, gender, sexual orientation and class on the lives of people often invisibilized and ignored.”
    –Adriana Aldana, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Department of Planning, Policy and Design
    University of California Irvine

    “Laura Checkoway’s moving documentary Lucky is a vivid depiction of a young woman’s struggle for survival and decency in an often hostile and indifferent environment. It clearly illustrates the connection between social work practice with individuals and the need for policy and systems change and is a must-see film for all students, faculty, and practitioners.”
    –Michael Reisch, Ph.D.
    Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice
    University of Maryland

    “A film that highlights the close relationship between survival and resilience within an urban context and provides viewers with a lens through which to witness the unfolding of a life of someone who still clings to the power of love against incredible odds.”
    –Melvin Delgado, Ph.D.
    School of Social Work
    Boston University

    "Lucky is a beautiful portrait of the struggle to move beyond what one is born into. A must watch for anyone who seeks to solve how to move individuals beyond the circumstances they were born into."
    –Tanene Allison, MPP
    Harvard Kennedy School of Government
    Former homeless youth and political activist

    “This film is raw, honest, and necessary at this time in our history. It pushes our understanding of lives we think we know and agitates us in ways that will lead to change.”
    –Kayla Mason, MSW
    Director and Lead Organizer
    Youth Power Movement


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