River City Drumbeat

Movie Information

A powerful, inspiring documentary about Louisville, Ky.'s River City Drum Corps and its emphasis on Black excellence.
Genre: Documentary
Director: Anne Flatté and Marlon Johnson
Starring: Ed Hamilton, Imani Keith, Jailen Leavell
Rated: NR

“Black Lives Matter. Black Arts Matter.”

Early in the documentary River City Drumbeat, these powerful words blast from a speaker addressing the children of the River City Drum Corps — an immersive music, cultural and educational youth program in Louisville, Ky. The mantra then reverberates throughout the film, which chronicles the passing of RCDC leadership from Ed “Nardie” White to his protégé, Albert Shumake, as well as their joint efforts to help the children and the RCDC develop.

Directed by Anne Flatté and Marlon Johnson, River City Drumbeat is above all a testament to Black excellence, beginning with its opening quote, “We desire to bequeath two things to our children. The first one is roots, the other is wings.” Featuring the development of the youths who participate in the program and the community that has a hand in raising them, this documentary is equal parts powerful and inspirational. Whether it be hearing how the RCDC program has helped children transition to adulthood or how it’s kept them away from the violence and drugs that are prominent in their neighborhoods, the positive results within the community are undeniable.

Throughout River City Drumbeat, the passing of the torch from White to Shumake smartly introduces audiences to different aspects of Black culture via music and art. Looking into the two men’s lives, seeing the impact the arts have had on them and why they are incredible leaders despite their circumstances, nicely emphasizes how passion can shape one’s journey — and is truly a privilege to watch.

Available to rent starting Aug. 14 via grailmoviehouse.com

About Cameron Allison
Film lover. Anime lover. Manga lover. Ask me about Lu over the Wall or Coraline.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.