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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Friday, 28 May 2010

Another HBO Documentary - Ghetto Ballet

Caught another HBO Documentary today, this time it was Ghetto Ballet, set in a South African Slum.  Once again I really didn't like the framing.  The main character is a girl who talks about how ballet used to be for white people but now she's going to be the first black ballerina.  However, it is quite clear from her body structure that she can be a dancer, just not of the ballet kind.  We see her best friend, who has the body type  a few moments later.  We then get to follow them, as well as the rest of the group of underprivileged kids given the gift of ballet through the "Dance for All" program, culminating in an audition to become a professional.  We see a boy become Cape Town's second black ballet dancer, and the best friend being picked at the end as she has real potential (this outcome was predictable from the start).  Meanwhile, the main character fails to move on to the professional level and is told that maybe she could go on a diet.  We are supposed to admire her determination to keep trying.  It just made me sad.  TELL HER THE TRUTH!!!!

This documentary reminds of  Remember the Titans and when Denzel Washington's character chastises his white counterpart for coddling the black kids.  He says you aren't doing them any favours, you are crippling them for life.  This was not about white/ black, or the haves/ have nots.  These kids had the chance to be ballet dancer through the program, but if they didn't have the chops of the body type, that is something that even opportunity could not fix.  Instead of telling the poor girl to go on another ridiculous diet (by the end of the documentary her mother was already exacerbated by her child's eating), they should have given her realistic options, like dancing in another genre like modern or jazz or something. :(

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