The Whole Gritty City (2013)

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The Whole Gritty City is a 90-minute documentary that plunges viewers into the world of three New Orleans school marching bands. The film follows kids growing up in America's most musical city, and one of its most dangerous, as their band directors get them ready to perform in the Mardi Gras parades, and teach them to succeed and to survive. Navigating the urban minefield through moments of setback, loss, discovery, and triumph, these children and their adult leaders reveal the power and resilience of a culture. (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for The Whole Gritty City

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3)

It is a look at life, rather than a structured argument; or rather, the argument is made continually, with casual eloquence.

Jul 18, 2014 | Full Review…

We return to this scene at the end of the documentary. By then, we know a lot more about these local bands, and how much music means to the kids, and how they even inspire each other.

Jul 18, 2014 | Full Review…
NPR
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For every 11-year-old who decides he's going to take the band route and does, another kid who seems to have beaten the odds has not. The good news is that the band directors here aren't giving up - and that in music they have a potent weapon.

Feb 18, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Boy, can some of these kids play.

May 29, 2015 | Full Review…

The result -- at times joyful, at other times incredibly sad -- is an inspiring and moving documentary with great people who have amazing stories to tell.

Oct 23, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

The Whole Gritty City is both a celebratory film -- filled with fanfares and snares, concerts and parades -- and a very emotional one, an at-times heartbreaking portrait of our at-times heartbreaking city.

Jul 18, 2014 | Rating: 4/5

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