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Ballou (2008)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Music | 3 May 2008 (USA)
Ballou , a documentary film, follows the talented Washington, DC, Ballou Senior High School Marching Band, as they overcome their negative environment filled with guns, drugs, and violence,... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Patrei

Writers:

Michael Patrei, Fernanda Rossi (storyline consultant)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Marion Barry Jr. ... Himself
Chuck Brown ... Himself
Lewis Franklin ... Himself
Denyce Graves ... Herself
Rhia Hardman Rhia Hardman ... Herself
Kenneth Horne Kenneth Horne ... Himself
Jesse Jackson ... Himself
Colin Powell ... Himself
Darrell Watson Darrell Watson ... Himself
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Storyline

Ballou , a documentary film, follows the talented Washington, DC, Ballou Senior High School Marching Band, as they overcome their negative environment filled with guns, drugs, and violence, and uplift the community with music, dedication, and personal sacrifice. This Washington, DC, High School Marching Band--from an impoverished community just 3 miles away from the US Capitol building--is on its way to the national band competition. They are a family with heart and soul that use hard work, discipline, and compassion to overcome all obstacles. Political leaders and celebrities including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gen (ret) Colin Powell, Congressman John Lewis, Marion Barry, Denyce Graves, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and Chuck Brown are featured in the film to show the importance of a small marching band in the lives the band members and in the community. Written by Patrei, Michael

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Plot Keywords:

band | marching band | musician | See All (3) »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ballou Marching Band See more »

Filming Locations:

Washington, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$134,216 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Garden Thieves Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (HDCAM)
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User Reviews

 
Well-balanced, inspiring documentary
19 June 2008 | by cat_alecSee all my reviews

We saw this movie last week in DC. It was excellent and I highly recommend it. The documentary is a well-balanced portrait of a leader (the Ballou Band director, Darrell Watson) and of the kids (rising above their environment to be a part of something "bigger"). And throughout the movie there is the theme that the band is truly a family, there to support each other and help each other work hard/achieve.

We had a lot of post-movie discussion in our group after this movie, which I think is an objective of documentaries - so the film's director absolutely succeeded in this respect.

There are commentaries throughout from some local DC figures on the importance of the band. I thought it distracted from the film a bit. I was much more interested in Mr. Watson, his staff and of course, the kids. Would have been nice to have commentary at the end, updating the viewers on what the graduating kids are now "up to". However, perhaps there is power in letting the viewers speculate.


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