A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Inocente celebrates art as an avenue of self-expression and the power of the human spirit. It raises the issues of immigration, abuse, and homelessness in an impartial manner that promotes empathy, giving a voice to a young victim of tragic circumstances who's caught in the middle of it and doing her best to rise above her past.
Positive Role Models
Inocente doesn't wallow in her misfortune but uses her experiences to inspire her art. She has adults in her life who help guide her in ways that her mother doesn't, and their presence is what helps her envision a brighter future for herself.
Violence & Scariness
Inocente and her mother talk in detail about the abuse the family suffered at the hands of Inocente's father. They describe being beaten until they feared for their lives; he used electrical cords and sticks on them as well. Both women mention contemplating suicide as an escape from the emotional pain.
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Products & Purchases
A.R.T.S. (A Reason to Survive), the nonprofit program that sponsors Inocente's artwork, gets some publicity from the film.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Inocente is a gripping, emotional firsthand account of homelessness and the immigration issue in America as told by a teen who's lived in the midst of it all. There are some graphic accounts of the domestic abuse that Inocente suffered as a child, and she and her mother speak openly about having considered suicide as an escape from their situation. The film doesn't take a political stand on any of the issues, nor does Inocente weigh in on them specifically, but hearing her story will cause you to see them in a new light, regardless of your political convictions. Ultimately, the most lasting message that viewers will take away from this story is of the miracle of hope and the strength of the human spirit.
Is It Any Good?
Heart-wrenching, uplifting, disturbing, inspiring ... a lot of adjectives can be used to describe this documentary, but perhaps none is more fitting than "thought provoking." Inocente cuts away the political debate surrounding lightning-rod issues and presents a fresh face of immigration and homelessness in America. As Inocente shares her hopes and dreams with childlike innocence that's undeterred by her circumstances, it's impossible not to feel compassion for her circumstances. Regardless of your stance on the issues, this moving documentary will cause you to look at them in a new light.
The filmmakers' choice of a subject for this story couldn't have been better crafted; Inocente's youth is a particular attribute if you choose to share this story with your teens, since it makes the issues more relatable to them. Some of the content is pretty tough to hear, especially when Inocente describes her father's abuse and her unhappy relationship with her mother. It's not a comfortable film to watch, but because it's told entirely in Inocente's voice, it allows viewers to make up their own minds about the issues while simultaneously being inspired by the strength of her spirit. And needless to say, it will leave you and your teens with plenty to discuss at its end.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.