Gordon Parks Elementary chronicled on big screen

gordon-parksWhen the state closed Gordon Parks Elementary school in the Volker neighborhood two years ago, citizens fought back and reopened it.

David over Goliath, people called the court ruling against the state.

Now people can see the premiere of an independent documentary shot over one school year there.

Gordon Parks Elementary directed by Kevin Willmott will air Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Gem Theater, 1601 E. 18th St.

The school serves disadvantaged children from kindergarten through second grade.

In a trailer from the film,  Sister Berta Sailor said, “They meet the needs of kids that a lot of schools aren’t going to fool with … Can you imagine your kid doing his homework if he lived in a car – it would be a little tricky.”

A promo for the movie says it will take you inside the lives of students, families and staff as they deal with problems and experience the joy of learning.

Willmott, a professor at the University of Kansas, has directed two Sundance Film Festival movies.

His feature “CSA Confederate States of America” was distributed in the United States and other countries.

His movie, “The Only Good Indian” streamed on NetFlix and aired on Starz and Encore. He is now executive producer on a feature film by Spike Lee, “Chi-Raq,” expected to be in theaters near the end of the year.

Those wanting to see the Gordon Parks movie can RSVP and reserve a seat by calling Ann Duboc Sweeny at 816-753-6700 or online at www.GPEfilm.org

Seating is limited and a reception follows the show.

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