IMDb > Our Song (2000)
Our Song
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Our Song (2000) More at IMDbPro »

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Our Song -- Three teenage girls face the challenges of growing up in a world filled with uncertainty, risk, and, ultimately, hope.
Our Song -- Focusing on the bonding between three female (an African American female, a half African American half Latino American female, and a Latino American female) high school members of Brooklyn's "Jackie Robinson Steppers Marching Band" and the choices the gir


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Jim McKay (written by)
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Release Date:
18 April 2001 (France) See more »
Focusing on the bonding between three girls in Brooklyn's "Jackie Robinson Steppers Marching Band" and the choices the girls face once their high school closes down for asbestos removal. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 6 nominations See more »
(98 articles)
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User Reviews:
Naturalism Has Come to the States See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order)
Melissa Martinez ... Maria Hernandez

Anna Simpson ... Joycelyn Clifton

Kerry Washington ... Lanisha Brown
The Jackie Robinson Steppers Marching Band ... Themselves

Marlene Forte ... Pilar Brown

Raymond Anthony Thomas ... Carl Brown (as Ray Anthony Thomas)

Rosalyn Coleman ... Dawn Clifton

Carmen López ... Rita Hernandez (as Carmen Lopez)
Tyrone Brown ... Mr. Miller
Lorraine Berry ... Kim
Natasha Frith ... Keisha

Chuck Cooper ... Benjamin
Iris Little Thomas ... Clinic Counselor
Kim Howard ... Eleanor
Juan Romero Jr. ... Samson
D'Monroe ... Terell
Shortee Red ... Alex (as Reginald Washington)
Tommy Axson ... Cam
Tyrus Cox ... Anthony 'The Playa'
Tahiem Washington ... Troy Harper
Starla Benford ... Woman with Flowers
Greg Haberny ... Cute 'Guapo' Guy
Lisa Collins ... School Registrar
Eric Lee Byrd ... Malik (The Party Kisser) (as Eric Byrd)
Sidney O'Loughlin ... Rasheed
Shannon Phillips ... Party DJ
Madeleine T. Gamble ... Steppers Booster
Devin Gray ... Natasha Up in the Window
Derrick Williams ... Rodney
Syron Martin ... Ice Cream Scooper

Jan McLaughlin ... E.R. Doctor
Carlos Valerio ... Bodega Proprietor
Xiomana Martinez ... Bodega Proprietor

Directed by
Jim McKay 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jim McKay  written by

Produced by
Tyrone Brown .... associate producer
Ashaki 'Saki' Fenderson .... associate producer (as Ashaki Fenderson)
Alexa L. Fogel .... co-producer
Joseph Infantolino .... co-producer
Caroline Kaplan .... executive producer
Susannah Ludwig .... associate producer
Jim McKay .... producer
Paul Mezey .... producer
Jonathan Sehring .... executive producer
Michael Stipe .... executive producer
Diana E. Williams .... producer
Cinematography by
Jim Denault 
Film Editing by
Alex Hall 
Casting by
Alexa L. Fogel 
Karen Gilman 
Jane Lew 
Art Direction by
Liba Daniels 
Costume Design by
Tiel Roman 
Makeup Department
Esther Desty .... hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ashaki 'Saki' Fenderson .... assistant director
Art Department
Rachel Garrity .... property master
Sound Department
Stephen Altobello .... dialogue editor
Cruz Angeles .... boom operator
Rachel Chancey .... foley editor
Robert Fernandez .... sound re-recording mixer (as Rob Fernandez)
Ginger Geary .... foley artist
Jason Kaplan .... dialogue editor
Jeanette King-Segnini .... audio post coordinator
Booker T. Mattison .... boom operator
Jan McLaughlin .... sound recordist
Sidney O'Loughlin .... adr assistant
Dave Paterson .... supervising sound editor
Jay Peck .... foley artist
Reilly Steele .... sound re-recording mixer
James Ziegler .... sound consultant: Dolby (as Jim Ziegler)
Visual Effects by
Eva Rais .... opticals
Camera and Electrical Department
Claire F. Cario .... first assistant camera
Libby Cassinelli .... gaffer (as Elizabeth Casinelli)
Thomas LeGoff .... still photographer (as Tom Legoff)
John Pirozzi .... additional electric
Sylvia Plachy .... still photographer
Gabrielle Russomagno .... still photographer
Victor Sira .... still photographer
Joia Speciale .... additional assistant camera
Aurelia Winborn .... additional assistant camera
Franz Wise .... gaffer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sharika Niles .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Don Ciana .... color timer
Charly Huser .... color timer
Pete Spataro .... 16mm color timer (as Peter Spataro)
Location Management
Josh A. Rubin .... location manager
Music Department
Julie Panebianco .... music supervisor
Other crew
Sturgis Adams .... production assistant
Tommy Axson .... production assistant
Ivan Bess .... production assistant
Susan H. Bodine .... legal counsel (as Susan Bodine)
Andrea F. Cannistraci .... legal services
Mekita Coe .... production assistant
Lisa Collins .... rough-cut screener
Lisa Collins .... script reader
Katie Connor .... production assistant
Brenda Davis .... researcher
Joslyn G. Eccles .... key production assistant
Rachel Garrity .... key production assistant
Tom Gilroy .... rough-cut screener
Tom Gilroy .... script reader
Markus Jengkens .... production assistant
Brian A. Kates .... rough-cut screener
Brian A. Kates .... script reader
Sharika Niles .... key production assistant
Hans Probst .... opticals
Attika Torrence .... production assistant
François Vila .... press agent
Stephanie Black .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language and some teen drug use
95 min

Did You Know?

Film debut of Kerry Washington.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Film Geek (2005)See more »
You Were SomeoneSee more »


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Naturalism Has Come to the States, 14 August 2001
Author: bluesdoctor from A Place is Just A Place

This is the first American film to successfully adopt the naturalistic style used by Europeans, particularly the French and Belgians, for at least a decade, and isn't it about time? Following three high school girls in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn during the last days of their summer break between freshman and sophomore years, it does what all good art should: it discovers the universal in the particular. Even though the girls' preoccupations are outwardly conventional--boys, sex, popularity, money, freedom, and clothes--we glimpse how their whole lives are being shaped, the universal interface between character and destiny.

The naturalism is whole, complete. The film breathes, stays in the moment, inhabits real time. The story tells itself. The medium and its artifacts, for once, are not the message. The film unwaveringly, truthfully conveys the childhood perspective of its characters; it does not impose its own adult meanings or morals. Details emerge of their own, are never pushed, and thus seem all the more real and powerful for their understatement. Even though great pains have been taken to capture the authentic social reality of Crown Heights, part of the largest Black ghetto in New York City and one of the most dangerous violent places in the US, the subject is childhood in the ghetto, not the ghetto itself.

Documentary footage of the practice sessions of a marching band, the Jackie Robinson Steppers, punctuate the film at regular intervals with an explosion of color, movement, and sound. Otherwise, the camera stays very close, very intimate, a patient, sly, and unobtrusive observer. The language is rich, spontaneous, the acting transparent. Some scenes standout, such as the girls lolling about, each revealing her deepest fantasies. Lanisha's confession of her acceptance of a death by random violence is the most shocking, one of the deepest scars of the ghetto. Her sharing with her mother her confusion and fear before the stark challenges of adult life is equally moving, and beautifully, unsentimentally affirmative.

Social realities are respected, not propagandized: All three girls are being raised by single moms, only one, Lanisha, has a father active in her life (and, not coincidentally, of the three she is the most emotionally stable and empathetic to others, and the one with the most self-respect). Two of them suffer from asthma, a disease disproportionately prevalent in the inner city. Gunfire, an accepted daily occurrence, only momentarily interrupts their conversation. Only one of the girls, Joy, feels hope for, feels she has control over the future, while the other two to varying degrees have already accepted despair.

This is by far the best dramatic American film I've seen in years. See it, see it, see it.

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