"This fascinating hybrid of documentary and fiction employs a number of strategies to create a complex look at different Black American families. As the scene shifts from urban building projects to suburbia, from the present to the past, the filmmakers eavesdrop on intimate kitchen-table conversations, fold in historical re-enactments, drop by community meetings and conduct talking-head interviews."
- Manohla Dargis, New York Times
Even as this incisive docudrama confounds the border between reality and fiction, its ideas about gender imbalance and the societal prejudice that locks Black families outside of the American dream remain crystal-clear.
- Matthew Eng, Tribeca News
"Larry Bullard and Carolyn Johnson’s striking A DREAM IS WHAT YOU WAKE UP FROM (78) employs vignettes and self-reflexive techniques to question the American dream and the accepted role of black women in families."
- Violet Lucca, Film Comment