Dawson stars as a frustrated mother who can't afford medicine for her sick son in actor Mark Webber's directorial debut.
Coming out this week on limited release, the film also stars Paul Dano, Naomie Harris, Lou Taylor Pucci, Frankie Shaw, Tariq Trotter and Francisco Burgos.
'Explicit Ills' follows four interconnecting stories of love, drugs and poverty in Philadelphia: Babo, an asthma-suffering 7-year-old who lives with his mother (Dawson) is coming of age in a tough North Philly neighborhood. Demetri, his neighbor, transforms himself into a well-read "smart" boy in order to get a girl. Local art student, Michelle, whose family is well off, is falling into a drug-induced love affair with her dealer, Jacob. Kaleef and Jill attempt to work through a strained marriage while their teenage son, Heslin, focuses on competing in the World's Strongest Man competition. This lyrical and moving drama finds its core as all members come together in their fight for justice and self-discovery.