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River City Drumbeat
Now available to stream on demand with KPBS Passport
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Credit: By Juan Castañeda. Credit: Juan Castañeda/Owsley Brown Presents
The critically-acclaimed, audience favorite “River City Drumbeat” is an immersive story of music, love, and legacies set in the American South.
For three decades, the dynamic Ed “Nardie” White offered a path to empowerment to Black youth in Louisville, Kentucky through his Pan-African community drum corps.
When he decides to step down, Albert Shumake, an alum whose life was saved by the drumline, returns home to carry “the spirit of the drum” forward for the next generation.
During the year-long changing of the guard, young drummers Imani, Jailen, and Emily navigate the cadences of adolescence even as systemic forces threaten to undermine their dreams.
Directors Marlon Johnson and Anne Flatté deliver a vital and insightful tale that shows how art, love and mentors can transform a child’s life.
With compelling characters, evocative visuals, and kinetic drumline performances, “River City Drumbeat” is a testament to the impact of this creative community on the lives of three generations.
Witness the immense power of love and music in what Film Threat called “an edifying story of rhythm, passion, and rites of passage.”
The film made its world premiere at DOC NYC and went on to a successful festival and virtual theatrical run in 2020. The feature documentary was named a 2020 New York Times Critic’s Pick and one of Common Sense Media’s Top 20 Best Family Films of the Year!
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Director: Marlon Johnson, Anne Flatté. Executive Producer: Owsley Brown. Producer: Owsley Brown, Anne Flatté, Marlon Johnson. Cinematographer: Juan Carlos Castañeda, John Anderson Beavers. Editor: Jeff Boyette. Music: B. Quincy Griffin.
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