Yet, those are always changing and filled with arrivals and departures.
This is true in Brighton Park, where the homes and streets have witnessed the march of one group after another. Today, its heart and soul is Latino but even more so the focus in on the young Latinas on the Kelly High School soccer team.
These girls have dreams of a bigger future, doing better than their parents and moving to someplace better. These dream come amidst the heartbreaking realities they live in, where there is little money, little support and enough inequality to dash even the most passionate dreamers.
Their stories are well told via In the Game, a documentary about the girls of Kelly High School. Filmed over four years, it is the story of the school, the neighborhood, the girls and their families in this mostly Latino South Side community. It is a production of Kartemquin Films, the not-for-profit documentary collective, known for films such as Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters, and director Maria Finitzo, a Peabody award winner.
We see them run up against harsh realities. And yet, they move on, forging bonds, and learning lessons to keep them going. Stan Mietus, a Kelly graduate himself is the soccer team’s coach. He becomes a symbol in the documentary of the redeeming power of open-hearted, self-pride and not giving up.
There’s a strong message here for Chicago’s vast and growing Latino community.But there’s also a message for many others, who can tell similar stories about the things that tie them together as they march toward their dreams. This explains the wisdom of showing the documentary at Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Public Libraries through the Illinois Soccer Association and various community groups.
This is what we should be talking about in Chicago — things like a soccer game with high school girls trying to make a goal. Becuase these are the things that tie us together in Chicago. These are the stories and the messages that build our communities.
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