For Amanda Acevedo, getting on the honor roll meant fighting through a lot of physical pain.
The 10-year-old from East Harlem, New York, didn’t have a reliable computer at home or school to complete her assignments in the evening. In order to keep up in class, she was often left with no choice but to write out entire essays using her thumbs on her mother’s cell phone.
Can you imagine?
Rory Kennedy couldn’t — until she witnessed it herself.
“[Acevedo] would sit there and you would hear her thumbs crack and she would talk about it being painful,” explains a dumbfounded Kennedy, director of the film, “Without a Net: The Digital Divide in America,” which features Acevedo’s story.
I’m speaking with Kennedy at the documentary’s New York Film Festival premiere on Oct. 3, where a number of the film’s supporters — most notably, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” star Zendaya — rallied behind its cause. “I thought, my God,” Kennedy continues, as we chat a few minutes before her film debuts to a full house. “We are making it physically painful for poor kids to learn in this country.”