Raising Renee

2010     1 x 90     Color B/W: HD     English

A West City Films production in association with HBO

A Film By:
Jeanne Jordan
Steven Ascher

RAISING RENEE begins in 2003 as Beverly McIver is savoring opening night of her first solo art show in New York. An accomplished painter and winner of major awards, her career was skyrocketing. She flew in her mother Ethel, a maid from Greensboro, North Carolina and her sister Renee, 43, who is mentally disabled and functions at about the level of a third grader. Years before, Beverly had casually promised her mother that she would take Renee when Ethel died, an event that seemed infinitely far off and unlikely to impinge on her life as a single black woman, traveling, teaching and painting where her work took her.

But in 2004, Ethel died suddenly and Beverly’s promise was put to the test. RAISING RENEE is the story of a family’s remarkable response to being broken apart and rearranged after nearly 50 years. The film explores deep themes of family dynamics, disability, race and class through the interplay of painting, cinema and life. The project is produced and directed by Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher, who see the film as the third part of a trilogy about resilient families that includes their acclaimed feature documentaries SO MUCH SO FAST and the Oscar‐nominated TROUBLESOME CREEK: A MIDWESTERN.