At-risk youth and graffiti artist Mills wants to avoid his abusive stepfather, so he stays out all night tagging. He’s on a downward spiral that leads to bad grades, outbursts in school, and juvenile detention on an assault charge. Filmmaker Santiago Rizzo’s childhood in Berkeley is portrayed in Quest, his remarkably honest autobiographical film.
Listen to Joy LaClaire’s interview with Santiago Rizzo on Forthright Radio here.
Football Coach offers Friendship, Love, and Understanding
The only person who seems to believe in Mills is his football coach, Tim Moellering, who risks his career to give the boy the kind of love and understanding he has been searching for. His coach tries to keep him out of trouble, but their innocent relationship is suspect by the people around them. The lessons Rizzo learned from Moellering—compassion, respect, honesty, and love—helped to propel him from a life on the streets to student body president in his junior year at Berkeley High School. Rizzo was later one of 22 students accepted into the competitive Stanford Youth Environmental Science Program, and became a successful financial consultant on Wall Street.
Making Quest to Help At-Risk Youth “Trust the Struggle”
For Rizzo, making Quest is about passing on to others what Moellering gave him. “I wanted to share Tim’s love,” he says. “I wanted to inspire other at-risk youth to trust in their struggle and to know they’re not alone — that often the child who is most disturbed and the most intense has the most potential, if he or she can channel his or her energy in the right direction.”
Forthright Radio, with host Joy LaClaire is based in Bozeman, Montana, and features interviews with dynamic and important authors, filmmakers, and persons of interest. Forthright Radio is a Beyond The Deep End production, originally broadcast from the Philo studio of KZYX fm, listener-supported Mendocino County Public Broadcasting.