“Astounding and powerful.”

— Bryn Gelbart, Indiewire


“I never would have heard of Bertie, North Carolina if it weren’t for this movie, and using art to learn about every corner of our country seems more essential than ever.” Three Stars

— Brian Tallerico,


“The boyhood of this year’s AFI DOCS, but with more of an urgent social subtext.”

—Dean Essner, Washington City Paper


“It’s impossible to watch Raising Bertie, and not be reminded how the misguided post-election directive to empathize with certain residents of low-opportunity rural America callously fails to extend to people of color”

— Stephen Gossett, Chicagoist


“[A] profound cinéma vérité film.

 Tambay Olson, Shadow and Act


“The documentary brilliantly weaves the young men’s stories together, as they transition from their teens into manhood, engaged in a shared struggle for social and economic survival.”

“[A] starkly poetic film.”

— Brian C. Bush, The Huffington Post


“A faithful depiction of three young black men growing up in rural North Carolina. After the premiere of the film, the subjects came on stage and one of the men said that that moment was “the happiest day of my life.” Real honest emotions from real subjects, real people, real experiences.”

— Tom Roston, POV blog


“In a time when political dysfunction, farcical pop culture recaps and kitten videos seems to capture and hold the media and nation’s attention, Raising Bertie fills a tremendous void. Through careful, long-form visual storytelling Raising Bertie artfully explores larger problems plaguing the South… Every state legislator, every high school student and dammit, every citizen who cares about the state needs to watch Raising Bertie.”

— Sandra Davidson, Bit & Grain


“A curiously intimate look at what life is like for young black men in an impoverished rural community where opportunities are scarce and potential pitfalls are everywhere… The film resonates powerfully with contemporary issues of racial inequality, educational opportunities and the Black Lives Matter movement.”

— Glenn McDonald, The News & Observer


“A subject that we all think we know about, but have never seen this intimately, and it’s powerful.”
— Rob Tiller, The Casual Blog


“Margaret Byrne has made a powerful and empathic film on the importance of family, education and self-determination that is epic in scope, powerfully intimate in the way that it details the lives and struggles of its subjects and as dramatically engrossing as any conventional feature film.

— Peter Sobczynski, EFILMCRITIC