“Chasing Childhood primarily questions the lack of ‘free play’ and independence from parents among children today, in tandem with a ferocious drive towards the best grades and the best sports’ statistics, all in pursuit of admittance to the top colleges … the focus is mostly on white and upper-middle class families. The documentary would have benefited tremendously had it leaned more into how this problem is shared across economic, racial and cultural divides.
Additionally, the impact of social media is almost entirely absent … How can it possibly not factor into this conversation?”
“What’s refreshing is that this film isn’t interested in telling the rise-to-the-top, the sports-driven, winning-of-the-big-game kind of story … Sisters on Track excels at grounding the audience in the present … the balance between work, sports and play; decisions regarding high school and college; managing grief; job hunting, etc. Early on, the film recounts the Sheppards’ struggle through financial distress that led to homelessness. As the youngest of the girls, Brooke, states, ‘I thought we would be homeless for the rest of our lives,’ which sets up the very pragmatic and visceral need for success in track. It isn’t just a hobby or an after-school activity. As with so many other athletes, sports is their passage to an education and, beyond that, security in life.”
I loved this film – I was smiling and crying while watching it and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I even rated it 4/4 stars!
Virtuoso Afro-Cuban musicians Aldo and Ilmar López-Gavilán, separated in their childhood and reunited intermittently throughout their adult lives… Ilmar studying violin abroad while Aldo remained in Cuba, learning piano. They…became masters of their respective instruments, all the while longing to someday record an album together…
The film doesn’t openly condemn anyone, keeping the focus on personal experience, not politics. It shines a light on how Aldo and Ilmar have adjusted to these political restrictions on their lives and the candid truth of their experience is enough to wrench your heart.