Outta the Muck
Outta the Muck
Outta the Muck
Outta the Muck

Outta the Muck

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    • Directed by: Bhawin Suchak and Ira Mckinley 
    • Released: 2022 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2021
Running Time: 80 min
Language: English
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: African American Studies, Race Power and Privilege

A fiercely self-determined family in the deep south resists despair with love in this unique narrative of Black achievement.


Family, football and history come to life in an intimate portrait of the Dean family, longtime residents of the historic town of Pahokee, Florida. We take a journey back home, with filmmaker Ira McKinley, to the land of sugarcane, as he reconnects with his niece Bridget and nephew Alvin and explores their shared family history that spans seven generations. Told through stories that transcend space and time, Outta The Muck presents a community, and a family, that resists despair with love, remaining fiercely self-determined, while forging its own unique narrative of Black achievement.

Official Selection at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2022, Seattle International Film Festival 2022, Riverrun International Film Festival 2022, Miami International Film Festival 2022, and Atlanta Film Festival 2022

"'Outta the Muck' is a love letter to a forgotten gem of the Everglades and the people who live there, a reminder of the importance of tradition" -Winston Salem Journal 
"Pahokee is the Seminole word for “grassy waters.” This documentary pays homage to the Pahokee region’s nickname, “Muck” which honors the dark, fertile soil that surrounds the grassy waters of Lake Okeechobee. The film also presents other customs that have existed for generations including fishing and rabbit hunting in the sugar cane fields. The camerawork often provides picturesque views of Floridian landscapes with flying cranes, swaying palm trees, swimming alligators, and magnificent lake panoramas. This film is available in a variety of formats that can include public performance rights. Outta the Muck is recommended for college and high school levels as well as the general public." - Erica Swenson Danowitz, Chat Reference Librarian –Pennsylvania’s Chat with a Librarian (CWAL),


About the filmmaker 

Bhawin is an educator, filmmaker, and founding member/co-executive director of Youth FX, a media arts organization focused on empowering young people of color in Albany, NY and around the world by teaching them creative and technical skills in film and digital media while supporting self-determined communities of emerging artists. Bhawin also co-directs NeXt Doc, a year-round fellowship program that exists to amplify the voices of documentary filmmakers of color between the ages of 20-24 years old. Bhawin is the co-director, producer, cinematographer and editor of Outta The Muck (2022), a feature length documentary supported by ITVS, JustFilms, Sundance, and Southern Documentary Fund. He previously co-directed, The Throwaways (2014) with Ira Mckinley, and Free To Learn (2004).

Ira Mckinley is a filmmaker and activist and the director/producer of the award-winning documentary The Throwaways. Born in Upstate New York he is now based in South Florida where Outta The Muck is set. Ira started his activism in the 1980’s when he participated in Act Up in Ithaca, NY. During the winters of 2007/2008 he started a Homeless Arts Showcase in Northampton, MA’s Pulaski Park which was inspired by his fifteen years being homeless himself. Ira is the recipient of the 2014 ACLU Carol S. Knox award, 2013 MLK Storytelling + Activist Award from Siena College, 2009 Northampton Arts Council’s Emerging Filmmaker Award, and was the 2009 Producer of the Year for Northampton Community Television. His current film Outta The Muck tells the story of his family roots in Pahokee, FL and is being produced with support from ITVS, JustFilms, Sundance, and Southern Documentary Fund.


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