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ActorAfi Bijou, Anthony Ruiz, Charles Malik Whitfield, Curtis McClarin, Davenia McFadden, Elizabeth Rodriguez, F. Murray Abraham, Giancarlo Esposito, Guillermo Díaz, Jacinto Taras Riddick, Jason Rodriguez, Jean-Claude La Marre, Jerome Butler, José Zúñiga, Matthew Faber, N'Bushe Wright, Ron Brice, Samuel L. Jackson, Sean Nelson, Yul Vazquez
Filmed with a perfect blend of realism and embellished style, Fresh is a coming-of-age story set in the poverty of the New York City projects, wherein the protagonist “grows up” only by learning to become dangerous and losing his sense of self. There’s no satisfaction in watching 12-year-old Michael (or “Fresh,” as he’s called) use his supposed innocence as a tool to manipulate his way to a safer position. The system continues to reign supreme and Fresh only buries himself into a deeper hole. Boaz Yakin’s direction is direct and expressive, the city stirring to vibrant life in every scene, and the tremendous performances from Giancarlo Esposito and a then-teenage Sean Nelson drive home the tragedy with full force.