The Lesser Blessed (2012, written and directed by Anita Doron)
[No. 50 of 52 in #52FilmsByWomen]
Being a teenager is hard, especially when navigating the complicated ecosystem of high school social hierarchies. Larry (Joel Evans) is a pretty typical one as most teenage boys go. He has a crush on a girl in class, he gets bullied, he’s awkward. But on top of all that, he is struggling with something bad that happened in his recent past.
The Lesser Blessed stands out among the other teenage coming-of-age dramas in that our protagonist is a Native American from a tribe called Dogrib. Although his ethnicity isn’t an important part of the story, some of the cultural practices and wisdom can be seen as a part of Larry’s life. In particular, the folk tales told by his mother’s boyfriend Jed (Benjamin Bratt).