Emmy award-winning American film-maker Alan Spearman, along with cinematographer Mark Adams, has captured the rich story behind Chris Dean – a young man whose heart stopped at the age of 2 and a half. But he came back, and narrates his memoir ‘as I am’ through the powerful language of long spoken poetry, giving profoundly earnest insight into the life of a man shaped by remarkable events of his life in Memphis.
The film uses compelling imagery to recount the eclectic personality of a poor memphis neighbourhood, imagery of Dean’s community and his own dialogue offering a lens to explore and understand a way of life and culture.
Chris Dean’s past is an extraordinary tale. His father was murdered when he was five – a victim to more than 20 bullets in a gang shootout – and at 18 he was thrust in the spotlight when he introduced President Barack Obama at his high school graduation. This attention won Dean a college scholarship to Lane College. For eight weeks, Spearman documented these and many more moments, moments that formed Dean’s unique world-view – a compendium which Spearman sensitively communicates in ‘as I am’.