8.5/10
51
8 user 3 critic

When I Rise (2010)

A gifted black music student at the University of Texas is thrust into a civil rights storm that changes her life forever. Barbara Smith Conrad is cast in an opera opposite a white male ... See full summary »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Barbara Smith Conrad ...
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Storyline

A gifted black music student at the University of Texas is thrust into a civil rights storm that changes her life forever. Barbara Smith Conrad is cast in an opera opposite a white male classmate fueling a racist backlash from members of the Texas legislature. Barbara's expulsion from the cast escalates the incident to national news, prompting unexpected support from a pop superstar. This small-town girl, whose voice and spirit stem from her roots in East Texas, emerges as an internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano and headlines on stages worldwide. Written by SXSW

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PG
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14 March 2010 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
A life of courage, hope and love
23 March 2010 | by See all my reviews

The life of Barbara Smith Conrad is one of courage, hope and love. This film tells her story through the struggle, disappointments, perseverance, and ultimate success of a girl whose love of music and hope for an education brought her to the University of Texas during the Civil Rights movement and placed her at the center of racial controversy in Texas.

I saw this premiere at SXSW and a week later am still thinking about the importance of this story. Important because it documents an era in our history that should never be forgotten and important because it reminds us what can be achieved even against great odds.

Mat Hames directed a beautiful film that draws you in not just with the story itself, but with the music, photography, interviews, original photos and film footage. I laughed, I cried, I felt shame for a time in our history, and I felt joy for the life of Barbara Smith Conrad. I loved this film - a perfect 10!!!


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