OT: Our Town (2003)

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Movie Info

The Los Angeles community of Compton has become infamous thanks to news reports and rap music lyrics that have portrayed it as an African-American neighborhood brought to the edge of destruction by corruption and black-on-black crime. In 2003, a handful of students and teachers at Compton's Dominguez High School decided to do something that hadn't happened at the school in more than 20 years -- put on a play. When it became obvious that the financially strapped school (which had recently canceled its football program) couldn't provide a budget for sets or costumes, the students did what money-conscious high-school theater departments have been doing for decades -- they staged Thornton Wilder's +Our Town, a drama commonly performed without the use of sets or large props. But what would Wilder's allegorical story of life in a small turn-of-the-century Midwestern hamlet mean to kids in Compton? And would the inexperienced students and faculty be able to bring it off? OT: Our Town is a documentary which looks at Dominguez High's brave experiment and the people who struggled to make it happen.
Rating:
R
Genre:
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Critic Reviews for OT: Our Town

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (7)

For a film about stereotype-busting, OT treads a very worn path.

August 15, 2003
New York Post
Top Critic

Emotionally involving.

August 14, 2003
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

[A] modest, moving documentary.

August 14, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

A whole world can be fit into 76 minutes, and that's what the splendid documentary OT: our town manages to do.

August 14, 2003
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A smart, seamless commentary on race, class and the expectations (or lack of) that are often attached to them.

Full Review… | August 14, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

As the players themselves struggle with finding what Borek calls 'the line between representing ourselves and stereotyping,' Kennedy takes pains to illuminate aspects and insights that buck cliché.

Full Review… | August 13, 2003
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for OT: Our Town

½

If you have ever been in the play Our Town, or were ever forced to read it in high school, and you wondered of its relevance, this film will remove all doubt as to how Wilder's themes have held up over the last century. Very moving and inspiring.

Aaron Tone
Aaron Tone

This had me in tears about 15 minutes in. Beautiful documentary about a high school performance of Our Town in Compton.

Amy Butler
Amy Butler
½

It's hard to explain the appeal of OT: Our Town. Tension is nearly non-existent. The music edited into the film is not particularly effective. The kids, however, had me entralled. Maybe it's the fact I've taught high school theatre and my love for the play Our Town that helped it along, but ultimately, I have to chalk it up to a good story. It's no secret that simple stories make great stories. This documentary continues to prove the rule--just as Our Town does nearly every time it's performed.

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson

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