Sweet Dillard - I Will Tell Festival
Students of Dillard High School might have serious issues to contend with inside and outside of the classroom – but that doesn’t mean they’re going to skip band practice. Followed by a post-screening Q&A and live performance.
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Sweet Dillard follows the lives and achievements of the Dillard High School band, led by the enigmatic Mr. Dorsey, who thinks life lessons are more important than musical ability.
This life-affirming documentary by director Jim Virga follows the students and their tutor over 2013-2014 as they practice to compete in the Essentially Ellington National Jazz Championships. The band are exceptionally musically talented, but as Mr. Dorsey puts it at the start of the film, it’s not about being able to play a “mean saxophone”, but much more about learning how to deal with the troubles life throws at you.
And life certainly does throw trouble at some of these students. Coming from impoverished backgrounds, most of them are self-confessed trouble-makers, who have turned away from a potential life of crime to spend time with their beloved band.
The documentary reveals how the band has not only shaped their high school lives, but will have positive influences and repercussions for many years to come. Documentary and music lovers shouldn’t miss this joyful film, which is showing at Vue Cinemas.