• Step-Documentary-Promo-Photo.jpg
    The women of "Step" pose for a promotional photo for the film. Photo courtesy of IMDB.com.

Documentaries tell stories about us

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Why is it that when a movie focuses on reality, people are less likely to see it?

Last month, I saw a documentary named “Step,” which follows three students–Blessing, Corei, and Tayla–trying to graduate from high school in Baltimore and pursue their college dreams. Each had obstacles in their life that were hindering them from walking across the stage or gaining acceptance into their college of choice. The issues ranged from a lack of support at home to adequate financial aid and grades.

These are the types of stories that should be shown more in local movie theaters. Documentaries like “Step” show the audience what many kids go through in everyday life.

In spite of this, my local AMC theater only had two Friday showings for the film: one early in the morning and the other late at night. The lack of showings was strange to me. Why wasn’t a film that showed that we as people often share the same obstacles and life experiences more accessible?

Documentaries eliminate the imaginary and bring forth reality.

“Upbuilding Whitted” by Bull City Doc Squad (led by NCCU professor and Campus Echo advisor Dr. Bruce dePyssler) is a great local example of how documentaries can give insight on the world around us. The movie is about a segregated grade school that catered to African-Americans in Durham. The school has a deep history with the surrounding community since its founding in 1922 but is now rundown due to a lack of maintenance. The closing of the school began a domino effect and the once-thriving community began to fall apart as residents left the area.

Documentaries are about showcasing today’s events or notable items in the past. The topic can involve the entire world or be personal to the filmmaker, but at the the end of the day, it’s something that someone can connect to and encourage them to make a difference. As fun as fiction can be, it’s time to see reality and shake away fantasy.

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