The genius of Quest is that—perhaps much like life—you’re never quite sure where it’s going to go.
Shot in inner-city Philadelphia, the film follows an African-American family over a five-year period, kicking off with the wedding day of Christopher and Christine’a Rainey. He’s a struggling rap producer working odd jobs on the side; she’s a health-care worker with both physical and emotional scars. Because they sometimes neglected their children from previous relationships, the Raineys are determined to do the right thing for young daughter Patricia.
Quest builds from a detailed family study to a moving meditation on the power of love and understanding, and the importance of continuing the struggle against long odds. Yes, there is violence in the Raineys’ neighbourhood—including something that no family should ever have to live through—but the important thing is the way community members rally around each other. At one point, Christine’a watches as a campaigning Donald Trump describes the black communities of America as a “complete disaster”, her response being a murmured “You don’t know us.”
We’ve certainly got a window into the lives of the Raineys and their neighbours by the end. And if the struggle continues right up into the credits, it’s never without hope.