FFF 2019 – Review: MARCHING FORWARD Is More Than A Music Doc

FIRST IMPRESSION

Marching Forward is a well-made and entertaining documentary that gracefully ties together the topics of music and social change.
Directing
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Marching Forward is a new documentary film co-directed by Lisa Mills, Oswmer Louis, and Robert Cassanello. The movie tells the story of two Florida high school band directors who, during segregation, are inspired to break down the lines of color to take their bands to perform at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. It debuted at the 2019 Florida Film Festival.

The true story at the core of this film is very interesting. The filmmakers took what appears to be a smaller local interest story and tie it into the greater context of the historical period in the South. The movie isn’t just about these bands taking a trip to the World’s Fair — it is about a group of people who worked together against racism to promote equality through the arts.

The film does a very good job of developing the subjects and interviewees. One of the best parts of the movie is that it creates that feeling of inclusiveness and familiarity that a group setting like a marching band often inspires. As such, both bands and all of their members that were interviewed are presented in a very rounded way, particularly the directors of the bands.

The ultimate message of the film is an inspiring and important one — even the small things can make a big difference. Although a band taking a trip may not seem like a revolutionary social statement today, it was a big deal back then, and the movie really emphasizes the impact that these bands had on the community as a whole. If everyone took a stand on social issues like these band directors did, our world would be a much better place.

marching forward band director

In terms of pacing, the film is very good. The movie very easily could have felt like a bland history lesson, but the personal touch that the characterization adds makes it far more entertaining. The runtime is a brisk sixty minutes, meaning that it is likely destined more for broadcast, where it will likely find an adoring crowd that will be entertained and uplifted by this trip into the past.

On a technical level, the film is very strong. The movie is told mostly through interviews and photos of the event, with some minimal archive footage thrown in there. The editing is very strong, with the Ken Burns effect being used frequently but not aggressively. Additionally, the interviews are quite well-framed, with some older images superimposed next to the subjects speaking.

Of course, the music also plays a large role in the film. Being that the movie is about marching bands, it is only fitting that the score would be comprised primarily of marching band music. This gives the film an undeniable energy that keeps the pace moving along and the tone light and breezy.

Overall, Marching Forward was an entertaining and well-made documentary. Although the primary audience is likely mostly local, it does have enough wide appeal and relevance that it could be a potential breakout.

Marching Forward played at the 2019 Florida Film Festival.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Psychedelics in Sports (Promo) | HBO

It’s the psychedelic renaissance, and some retired athletes have begun taking hallucinogens for issues such as depression, addiction and anxiety, seeking relief from mental health disorders brought on by years of high-impact collisions. Real Sports is all-new Tuesday, Nov 24 on HBO Max. #HBO #RealSports Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Real Sports is TV's…

Black Narcissus | First Look ft. Gemma Arterton as “Sister Clodagh” | FX

Discover the secrets of the palace. The cast and creators take you inside FX's new series, Black Narcissus. Subscribe now for more Black Narcissus clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Black Narcissus is an FX limited series based on the best-selling novel by Rumer Godden. Mopu, Himalayas, 1934. A remote clifftop palace once known as the ‘House of Women’…

Between The World And Me (2020): The Black Narrative (Promo) | HBO

“This film is about now. It reflects everything the world is absorbing.” Director Kamilah Forbes and executive producers Ta-Nehisi Coates, Susan Kelechi Watson and Roger Ross Williams discuss why Between The World And Me is important for audiences to watch today. The special event Saturday at 8pm on HBO Max. #HBO #BetweenTheWorldAndMe Subscribe to HBO…

Twitter Reacts to The Babysitter: Killer Queen | Netflix

Which bish was fire fire fire? We rounded up some of the craziest, funniest, and most insightful reactions that Twitter had to offer regarding The Babysitter: Killer Queen. Watch The Babysitter: Killer Queen, only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81012366 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 195 million paid memberships…

Giving Voice | Official Trailer | Netflix

Executive produced by Viola Davis and John Legend, Giving Voice follows students in the annual August Wilson Monologue Competition inspired by the late playwright. Watch Giving Voice on December 11 only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/GivingVoice SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 195 million paid memberships in over 190…

Next on Episode 4 | Moonbase 8 | SHOWTIME

The team learns about the program’s budget cuts and what impact they will have on their mission. When Elon Musk’s SpaceX sets up camp right next door, Cap, Skip and Rook are convinced they’ve discovered a solution to their problems. Starring Fred Armisen, John C. Reilly, and Tim Heidecker. Watch new episodes on Sundays at 11/10c on…

Favorite Holiday Dessert | The CW

‘Tis the season for holiday treats with The CW, presented by @Cascade. Don’t miss your favorite shows returning in 2021! #CWHomeForTheHolidays SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as All American, Batwoman, Black Lightning, The Flash, DC’s Stargirl, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,…

Devils | Season 1 | Episode 8 Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Devils Thursdays free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/DEVgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About DEVILS: An international thriller that follows Massimo Ruggero (Alessandro Borghi), the charismatic yet ruthless Head of Trading at NYL, one of the world's most important investment banks, and his mentor, NYL's CEO Dominic Morgan (Patrick Dempsey). After Dominic appoints another…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here