A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Viewers will learn about the underpinnings of the civil rights movement in the United States and gain respect for those who worked to make the movement happen.
Positive Role Models
The contributions of many civil rights leaders are spotlighted. Many of the leaders are still alive and participate in the documentary; the viewer can see the passion that inspired their actions.
Violence & Scariness
Plenty of vintage footage of police menacingly fondling clubs while peaceful protesters (including children), walk by. Footage of riots, officers holding protesters in headlocks, of children cowering as officers spray them with fire hoses.
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Some racist language, such as from old news footage of Deep South officials who don't want whites mixing with "nigroes."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The March is a documentary about the 1963 civil rights March on Washington. It contains period footage that may disturb viewers, especially younger viewers: police officers turning fire hoses on cowering young teens, protesters being taken into headlocks. Viewers will also see vintage racist language on display with Deep South officials affirming they won't let "nigroes" be on equal footage with whites. Otherwise, The March could play in almost any school classroom to illustrate units about civil rights or nonviolent protest movements, or at home for parents who want their children to learn about the history of racial inequality in America. But with a lot of talking-head footage and images of people sitting at desks or standing at lecterns, this documentary is too dry for younger kids. Teens are best suited to absorb its messages. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Earnest and straightforward, The March is the kind of documentary you can picture a high school history teacher wheeling an AV cart in for. Those who didn't know a lot about the 1963 March on Washington will learn more about it: the leaders who inspired the march, the foot-soldiers who made it happen, the nameless and faceless hundreds and thousands who made it their business to be there that day.
Probably the most gripping parts of the doc for teens will be footage of police officers bullying peaceful protesters, and images of signs like "colored bathroom." Young people who have never seen such images, or heard politicians railing fiercely against what we think of today as basic human rights, will be spellbound. The rest of the doc may be a tougher sell -- the thing about a peaceful protest is that it's not that dramatic. Nonetheless, The March illuminates a painful, yet crucial period in America's history, and parents (and history teachers!) who want their children to understand why may want to put The March on the "required viewing" list.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.