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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Shows power of writing and public speaking. Teaches about history of race relations in United States.
Shows diverse students living out the legacy of MLK Jr.: being proud of their identities and speaking out against injustice. Emphasizes value of working hard to reach a goal, going outside your comfort zone.
Positive Role Models
Showcases Black, Latinx, Muslim, and Asian kids delivering powerful speeches inspired by legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Featured kids are positive role models as they work hard to achieve their goals.
Violence & Scariness
Documentary mentions upsetting historical events like assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and police brutality of the 1960s. No visually depicted events.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest is an inspiring documentary that's a great choice for families to watch together. The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. is mentioned, as well as police brutality against Black people in the past and present. Themes of prejudice and racism are present throughout, though the documentary strikes a hopeful tone about young people being able to effect change. The participating kids demonstrate the value of hard work and living with conviction, and their performances and backstories are nothing short of inspirational. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This inspiring film is an hour's respite from the challenges we face in the United States. Part of We Are the Dream follows the well-worn uplifting documentary narrative about talented kids working really hard toward a goal (similar to other inspiring documentaries like Spelling the Dream, First Position, Brooklyn Castle, etc.). What sets We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest apart is what the kids are working to achieve, which is to deliver compelling public speaking performances that address the issue of race. The kids' purity of conviction and clarity of message offer hope that these young people will fix what previous generations have messed up.
Adults will find it incredibly poignant watching small kids being so proud of their identities and committed to their sense of right and wrong. Kids will enjoy seeing other kids overcoming fears and succeeding in public speaking. Watch this together as a family, and allow it to be a natural jumping-off point to talk about race in the United States.
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.