OT: Our Town
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The Los Angeles community of Compton has become infamous thanks to news reports and rap music lyrics that have portrayed it as an African-American neighborhood brought to the edge of destruction by corruption and black-on-black crime. In 2003, a handful of students and teachers at Compton's Dominguez High School decided to do something that hadn't happened at the school in more than 20 years -- put on a play. When it became obvious that the financially strapped school (which had recently canceled its football program) couldn't provide a budget for sets or costumes, the students did… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"For a film about stereotype-busting, OT treads a very worn path."
‑ Megan Lehmann, New York Post
"A whole world can be fit into 76 minutes, and that's what the splendid documentary OT: our town manages to do."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"promotes a message that more people need to understand in order to get past false stereotypes"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"The film makes a convincing case that the seemingly antiquated play may actually be more relevant today than ever before. Who would have guessed?"
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"The connections between Wilder's text and the realities of ghetto existence take on an emphatic, crystalline life all their own."
‑ Donald Munro, Fresno Bee
"Emotionally involving."
‑ Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News
"A smart, seamless commentary on race, class and the expectations (or lack of) that are often attached to them."
‑ Ernest Hardy, L.A. Weekly
"A documentary guaranteed to leave you laughing, crying and feeling pretty darn good about the transforming power of art."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"Director-photographer Scott Hamilton Kennedy's celebratory documentary shows how the students proved the naysayers wrong."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"OT is inspiring, but abstractly so, like a six-part series on arts and education in the L.A. Times."
‑ Rex Roberts, Film Journal International
"[A] modest, moving documentary."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"As the players themselves struggle with finding what Borek calls 'the line between representing ourselves and stereotyping,' Kennedy takes pains to illuminate aspects and insights that buck cliché."
‑ Laura Sinagra, Village Voice
"A tiny but wondrous miracle that sprouted despite daunting obstacles, like a dandelion that shoots up in the middle of a sidewalk."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"Though not spectacularly directed, there are enough moments of humor and poignancy to keep you engaged."
‑ Kim Morgan, Oregonian
"Briskly energizing... it's a delight to watch [these kids] blossom as they come together in an effort none of them had any idea they needed, or wanted, or could succeed at."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
More reviews for OT: Our Town on Rotten Tomatoes