“Our Mockingbird” Documentary – A Review by Paige

The documentary Our Mockingbird was about two schools that come together, one white and one black, to perform a play based on To Kill a Mockingbird. When the kids first meet, it was awkward because they did not surround themselves with the other race. This did not happen on purpose, that was just the way it was and the background. It is interesting how segregation was over, but today we still see it: in schools, neighborhoods, and general areas because of the history from before. It made me happy to see the two schools respect each other and forget the racial differences that happened in the past and it just shows how far we have come from where we used to be. It was also interesting how everyone was very exciting to be doing this play and I thought that they would all be the typical high schoolers that just do it because the teachers want them to learn something. But this story had a great impact on all the students from both schools and it didn’t just affect the main characters, but everyone who was in it.

 

Later in the documentary, we also heard from people such as celebrities, politicians, college professors, etc. You can also tell that this story had a greater effect on people and it was not just Harper Lee’s vision of the time period and the reality. We also had some background of some of the events that were going on during the 60’s and years before about the racism that was happening. It was sad that African-Americans were capable to do a lot of things that the world had to offer, but it was just not offered for them and they could not succeed if people just shut them down every time. I also realized that segregation was still very real and alive because some of the people who talked who were white said that they never saw black people unless it was the nanny coming in and I thought, “why did it take so long for people to realize after many years this is wrong”. But later I realized that they probably did know that this was wrong, but they knew that was the way it was and there wasn’t a lot you could do about it. In the video, a white woman talked about how she felt bad for the black people and everything that was happening to them, but if she told her family that and they saw her crying for them they would be disappointed in her so in a way that particular woman did not have a choice to do the right thing and feel bad or else her family would be ashamed of her.

 

For the last part of the documentary, we see the students putting the play together and we hear their perspectives on the story and their characters they play in the performance. Overall, they all learn that the injustice surrounded To Kill a Mockingbird and they also realize that they have developed friendships with the other school and that they can overcome what was in the past and leave their differences behind. I really enjoyed watching this because it was a positive story and this is how we can make a bad thing into something good and that one book can change everyone’s views on life. For example, one man said that he would never live in Alabama from the events that happened there and then he read To Kill a Mockingbird and he moved back to Alabama because of what Harper Lee gave to us. It also showed at the end the teenagers after the performance and I thought it was special that Harper Lee came to watch them after all their hard work. After reading the book and watching this documentary it made me think about how far we have come with racism and what we still need to do to erase it.

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