17 Blocks (2019)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 35m

After the film, SCROLL DOWN to watch an exclusive Q&A with director Davy Rothbart.

In 1999, nine-year-old Emmanuel Sanford-Durant and his Washington D.C. family began to videotape their daily lives in one of America’s most dangerous neighbourhoods, a mere 17 blocks from the U.S. Capitol building. They’ve been filming each other ever since. Made in a unique collaboration with filmmaker and journalist Davy Rothbart, the film focuses on four generations of the Sanford-Durant Family, including Emmanuel, a promising student; his brother Smurf, a local drug dealer; his sister Denice, an aspiring cop; and his mother Cheryl, who must conquer her own demons for her family to prosper. Spanning two decades, 17 Blocks illuminates a nation’s ongoing crisis through one family’s raw, stirring, and deeply personal saga.


Davy Rothbart


Rachel Dengiz


Marc Turtletaub



Bonus Content

26 mins
IFI Documentary Festival 2020 Q&A with director Davy Rothbart

IFI Head of Cinema Programming David O’Mahony speaks to Davy Rothbart, director of 17 Blocks, screening as part of this year’s IFI Documentary Festival.

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