Image: Reckoning in Boston Subjects

A Reckoning in Boston Film Dialogues

Filmmaker James Rutenbeck invited Essential Partners to collaborate on a discussion guide to accompany his new documentary film, A Reckoning in Boston, which The Boston Globe called “An absolute must-see.”

Following the lives of two Bostonians, Kafi Dixon and Carl Chandler, A Reckoning in Boston explores racism, gentrification, safety, and food access, as well as justice, belonging, education, and community. The film asks, What does it mean to be a community? How do we build a more just an equitable city? How can we repair the harms of historical and contemporary racism? Read the complete synopsis online.

The documentary will air nationally for the first time on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 17, 2022, at 10:00 PM Eastern Time on PBS Independent Lens.

Then on January 18, Greater Boston residents are invited to join Essential Partners and filmmaker James Rutenbeck to engage in open, honest dialogue about this moving film and its complex themes.

Participants will join small groups to engage in dialogue, guided by a trained Essential Partners facilitator. You'll be invited to reflect on the film and its themes, share your own experiences, and discuss your shared hopes, concerns and reflections. The entire program will last 90 minutes.

If you have questions about the dialogues or your participation, feel free to contact Essential Partners via email at

Not a resident of Greater Boston? Download our free discussion guide, watch the documentary on January 17, then use the prompting questions and guidelines in the guide to have a deeper conversation about the film and its themes within your own community.


January 18, 2022
6:30–8:00 PM Eastern Time


Online Via Zoom
Greater Boston, MA 02138
United States