As I Am: A Film by Alan Spearman & Chris Dean

“I shouldn’t be here. In a blank state. In a city with no fight. In an area code with no hope. In a house with no life. In a body with no soul. A man with no goal. I shouldn’t be here. This state shouldn’t be my life.”

“When we dream, we enter into an empty space that’s filled with hope.”

Chris Dean’s heart stopped when he was two. He died but he came back. When Chris was five, his father was murdered, riddled by more than 20 bullets in a gang shootout. At age 18, Chris gained national attention when he introduced President Barack Obama at his high school graduation. Chris is an observer and philosopher who has always had a few things to say about life from his vantage point in South Memphis. He and Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Alan Spearman walked the neighborhood for eight weeks observing and recording what became the script of As I Am. This film floats through this remarkable young man’s landscape, revealing the lives that have shaped his world. Poetic and powerful imagery, captured by Spearman and cinematographer Mark Adams, combines with the young philosopher’s trenchant observations about life. 1

As I Am


“What I do know is…we’re meant to connect. To find each other. Eyes to see. Hands to feel. Hearts to love.”

As I Am


Not a second of As I Am is wasted, it is haunting and breathtakingly beautiful throughout, culminating in a soul-scorching performance of “Sun in the Sky” by Kevione Austin and Blind Mississippi Morris.

1 Source: As I Am on Vimeo

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