Bahiri walks on the sidewalk. On screen, a message explains she “was born in Saudi Arabia” and “her mom worked three jobs to bring her children to the U.S. for a better life.” While holding framed photos of her family, Bahiri says “my mom was forced to just get us out a situation that wasn’t the safest.” Another message on screen reads: “Bahiri’s mom was denied an education and she wants her daughter to have that opportunity.”
As she waits for the bus, she says “education is really important to me and it is, to my mom.” While she finds a seat, the message on screen states: “Bahiri’s intention is to be the first in her family to graduate college. To get to class, she borrows a car or rides the bus 2-3 hours each way.”
In a parking lot, Marcy stands with her family. A message reads on screen states: “Marcy was raised in the foster care system and became a mom when she was 19. She escaped an abusive relationship and unsafe home for her kids.” On the balcony, she explains that she “didn’t know how to ask for help.” Marcy smiles and puts her hand on her daughter’s shoulder at the table. The message on screen notes: “Marcy and her kids lived out a car and hotel rooms. Marcy started college at age 24 and began working to support her family.” Marcy that she wants other people to have emotional support. Marcy walks down the hallway with a 18-year-old young woman. The message reads on the screen states her goal is for foster children to “find resources and to help them thrive and advocate for foster rights.”
A car drives past several tents on a sidewalk. Angela explains that it’s Skid Row. She says “it’s where poetry met me back in 2000.” A homeless fortysomething man accepts change while message on screen reads: “Angela left despair in Ohio to pursue art in L.A. She experienced homelessness, which remains a threat to Angela, her children and grandchildren.” Angela looks up at the sky while she recites a poem. Another message reads: “Angela found inspiration among the community on Skid Row.” Angela walks her dog as a third message states that her goal is to “spread awareness and tell stories of homeless women and children through her art.”
Bahiri sits on the couch and reads through her notes. An Introduction to Criminal Justice textbook lies on the cushion next to her. Marcy puts on blush as she stands in the front of the mirror. Bahiri dances with her friends as talks with her friends before school.
Angela hugs her grandchild. Some teenagers eat dinner at the long tables. Justin Bieber walks in with Quavo. He introduces himself and Quavo. He hugs Angela. Bieber dances with the children in the dining hall. Bieber puts his hand on Angela’s shoulder as they cross the street. Bahiri reads a book in the library. She writes in her notebook while on the bus.
Bieber walks into a school and Bahiri cries. The children say “ewww!” as they hug. Marcy exclaims “oh my god! No!” when she sees Bieber walk on the porch. He gives her a hug and tells her, “I heard you are a pillar in this community.” He adds that it’s amazing. Her friend laughs and tells her to sit down. Bieber says “hello” to Angela. Quavo explains that “we thought we would…um…get you some studio time so that you would be able to put out your message and do what you feel called and led to do so…” She recites a poem into the microphone. Quavo hugs her. Justin nods as Marcy says “everyone has a story and it motivated me to keep going.” Bieber tells her “we all need people like you to do what you’re doing.” He hands out backpacks to Marcy and her friends.
He walks with Bahiri as she tells him, “I live in Koreatown and I go to school all the way to Northridge.” She says it was to tough to commute with her car. Bieber asks her, “what if I told her you don’t have to worry about that anymore?” He points to a car and gives her the keys. She sits in the driver’s seat and cars into the steering wheel. He sits next to her and gives her a hug.
Quavo dances with the people in the dining hall in front of the building. Bieber makes funny faces at the kids in Bahiri’s class. Angela says her goal is the same she had “many years ago.” Bashiri says that she’d like to “help kids who are less fortunate.” Marcy responds that her goal is “to raise awareness for former foster care youths.”
Judy Vaughn, the founding director of the Alexandria House, says that her goal is “to speak truth to power. To speak about injustices and the need for equity.” The people stand outside the building. Bieber thanks them and that “it meant being so much to us just being here.” They clap for Bieber and Quavo. A message on screen reads: “Thank you to the Alexandria House for opening your doors and your hearts to Bahiri, Marcy, Angela and this entire community in times of need. In your honor, an Intentions Fund has been established in the amount of $200,000 to support these women and the dreams of families you support.”
Justin Bieber picks out some backpacks to give out to the people at the Alexandria House. He wasn’t sure what else to get them. In a week or so, he was supposed to go over to there. He couldn’t go over there without anything. However, he was recording during the meetings and figured his manager would take care of it.
While at the Alexandria House, he was intimidated by Marcy. She was really smart and he didn’t know what to say to her other than “awesome work.” He was expecting Bahiri to be starstruck. However, she was comfortable around him and talked to him like he was regular person. As she cried over the car, he couldn’ think of anything to say.
Quavo and Angela bonded in the studio. Quavo bowed his head as he listened to her words. They were from such a raw place. He hopes the studio time helps her in some way. Maybe she could use the recordings to get published some day. For an afternoon, though, she was a star.
Director: Michael D. Ratner Year: 2020