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The Test
A Ghanaian maintenance technician at a Virginia retirement community dreams of becoming an American citizen to provide a better life for his family. With their future at stake, he enlists the help of two elderly residents to prepare for the biggest test of his life: the US Citizenship exam.
Screening day / time
  • Oct 21 (Sat): Block 4 – 2:30pm
  • Oct 26-29: Virtual Encore

The Test

Running Time
Short Film
15 minutes
Documentary, Short

The Test

THE TEST is a character-based documentary short that follows the story of Eric Frimpong, a Ghanaian immigrant who works as a maintenance worker at a large retirement center. Eric dreams of bringing his wife and three children to the US, as he hasn’t seen them in eight years. The final obstacle to their long-awaited reunion is passing the U.S. Citizenship test. An elderly couple, Jill and Carl, journey alongside Eric to tutor him to pass the 100 question test that will define his future.

A microcosm of the Great American Experiment, the employees at Goodwin House represent a host of nations – Ghana, Vietnam, Nigeria and more – who have left family and community in their native countries to pursue a life of political freedom in the U.S. In contrast, the retirees who serve as tutors are everyday heroes – former teachers, military members, and community volunteers. The destinies of Eric, Jill and Carl unfold along a shared journey as the retirees discover new purpose at the end of their lives while empowering a future citizen to start a new life in America.

The stakes are enormous for Eric, who has left behind his home country and family thousands of miles away to build a new life in America. But there are high stakes for the seniors as well. Jill and Carl are in their twilight years and their world has slowly shrunk. For them, the test is an opportunity to find a new sense of purpose and community. But this is about more than studying for an exam: it’s about being there and supporting each other. The relationship that develops is transformational. These two very different groups of people will become family.

Film details
Year(s) screened
  • 2023
More information
Where to Watch
Festival screenings
Screening Day / Time
  • Oct 21 (Sat): Block 4 – 2:30pm
  • Oct 26-29: Virtual Encore
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