Frank Popper and Jim Kirchherr
St Louis PBS broadcast (September 2016)
AFI Docs, Cinema St Louis, Cinema on the Bayou
A profile of a competitive high school step team.
Popper and Kirchherr’s film follows the Riverview Gardens, St Louis-based Gentlemen of Vision team, better known as GOV – the reigning national step champions. Composed of both older teens and a junior group – conceived in part as an early intervention program for at-risk youth, GOV affords its primarily African American members an alternative to the dangerous draw of gang life. As the likeable if familiar film demonstrates, the glue that holds GOV together is coach Marlon Wharton, a surrogate father figure who demands much of his young charges – not just excellence in GOV, but in their studies as well, encouraging concrete plans for bettering their lives after high school through education.