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Rise and Dream (2011)

 |  Documentary, Family, Music
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Rise and Dream, a documentary, is the story of 13 teenagers who live with the challenges of poverty in a volatile region of the Philippines. When they volunteer to learn traditional ... See full summary »


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Title: Rise and Dream (2011)

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Rise and Dream, a documentary, is the story of 13 teenagers who live with the challenges of poverty in a volatile region of the Philippines. When they volunteer to learn traditional instruments for a once-in-a-lifetime concert, the pressure mounts. Some of the best Filipino folk musicians sign on to open for the kids and the expected audience triples in size. Parents and community members help plan the event, dealing with obstacle after obstacle. The teens come from diverse neighborhoods, facing poverty with dignity and living harmoniously among families from Christian, Muslim and other religious backgrounds. Their perseverance in preparing for the concert is inspiring, but the triumph of the teens and their families in their everyday lives invites us to a new understanding of people living in poverty. Written by Anonymous

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From the humblest roots come the greatest gifts.



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Good, but...
6 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this at KIFF and here's a few things I noticed, first that every person over the age of 40 years old came out of the theater saying how spoiled kids these days are. As a 20 something that at time feels torn in two different directions of kid and adult let me tell you parents, you grew up spoiled too. Anyone who grew up in the first world is spoiled, as hard as poverty can be in America you would be hard pressed to find any area that can compare to the slums that the kids in these films live in. Just because you didn't have an Iphone in the 1970s doesn't mean you were by any means roughing it.

Okay that's a tangent, and yes these kids have a hard life behind and ahead of them, but you are struck by the force of their brilliant optimism despite some really crushing poverty.

Next, I always get a little uncomfortable whenever a film starts with a white person trying to teach a bunch of disadvantaged kids something about hope. Barclay Martin, their teacher, is not at anytime patronizing to these kids or their families and is very respectful of traditional music, but again it is a common trope that just bothers me.

But we're not here for Barclay, we're here for the kids. And they are a force of nature. All of them have charisma that is breathtaking and inspiring.

So I went into this film pretty blind, so I didn't know until the Q&a with Barclay that this documentary was actually made by the charity that put this concert together in the first place. I'm not accusing anyone of hiding anything, it says it pretty clearly on the movie poster, which I didn't see until later. So I don't doubt it's a great organization, but it also means the film is biased. You don't see any of the negatives that might have arose while filming. Yes, it's possible that everyone in the community was really just that supportive, I'm not still sure I could trust this film as much as I could have it was made by an objective third party.

TL;DR - It's a moving well made documentary, but it still has some ethical issues that I think should be addressed.

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