webcast airing Sunday, October 23rd at 3pm CST
Director, producer, and cinematographer Kevin Shaw sits down with Pastor Otis Moss III to talk about his film, “Let the Little Light Shine“. The film is a riveting documentary on one community’s fight to preserve their grade school against the strong tide of gentrification, a topic everyone is having to contend with these days.
“I feel like people are puzzles. A piece of my puzzle is missing.” This is one of countless eloquent observations made by the young people unforgettably featured in Kevin Shaw’s “Let the Little Light Shine,” one of the year’s best documentaries. In this case, the words are uttered by Taylor, a student at the top-ranked elementary school, National Teachers Academy (NTA), located on Chicago’s Near South Side. She’s describing how it has felt for her to grow up without a mother, who died shortly after giving birth to her, leaving her grandmother Olive—to whom the film is in part dedicated—to raise the newborn girl. Yet Taylor’s observation could also apply to how she and her peers would feel as a result of the plan by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to rob them of their enormously successful predominantly Black school by converting it into an integrated high school. Whereas the 49 Chicago schools shuttered in 2013, marking the largest mass school closure in American history, were dismissed as “underperforming,” NTA is anything but, and more importantly, it has formed a nurturing community in which its youth have found a place to thrive.
“Film Notes” is brought to you in collaboration with the (In)Justice For All Film Festival