What is My Last Year with the Nuns about?
In Smith's autobiographical monologue My Last Year with the Nuns, the universe of his younger self is about ten blocks long. He and his friends roamed the heavily Catholic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, wandering from St. Joseph's Church to the Seattle Times newspaper shack, from school playgrounds to a murky and tangled ravine that cuts through the city. The paper shack lies right on the edge of the racial "red line" drawn to enforce the era's prejudice, providing a rare forum where white and black kids come together for a few minutes each day before returning to their segregated streets. Smith's stories - about the young hooligans he admired but couldn't bring himself to emulate; about the nun who tried, sometimes cruelly, to steer him and his friends on the path to righteousness; about a fleeting friendship with a black kid that gives him an unexpected view of escalating trouble - find jolting humor in serious events. My Last Year with the Nuns gathered critical and popular acclaim for Smith's dynamic performance and trenchant writing. My Last Year with the Nuns was filmed on the locations where the episodes take place. The public face of Capitol Hill (the churches, houses, and streets) as well as its back alleys and empty lots will frame and illustrate the lives of young Matt and his friends. The story remain a monologue: Smith plays all the parts, from his 8th grade self to the nuns of St. Joseph's parish to the various kids, some innocent, some dangerously rough, who populated his world. The film mixes performance shots in front of a live audience with scenes shot on location, adding texture and context to Smith's vivid tales.