Gentlemen of Vision
U.S., 2016, 73 min.
In the world of competitive stepping, the Gentlemen of Vision are the ones to beat. Offstage, the teen members of GOV — as the team is known — are growing up in the struggling working-class suburbs of St. Louis. Although GOV is based in Riverview Gardens, its members are drawn from schools across North County: Ferguson is their backyard. At the team’s center is GOV founder Marlon Wharton, who has built his team’s winning tradition by acting as both stepping coach and life coach. Wharton demands from the team’s members far more than just half-hearted participation: He asks for time, discipline, good grades, and a clear plan for a future after graduation.
Made by the Nine Network of Public Media, “Gentlemen of Vision” aired on Nine PBS in September, but this screening features an extended version of the documentary, with a significant amount of material not seen in the broadcast cut.
The film is co-presented by Midrash St. Louis, which engages myriad aspects of American culture and seeks to give and receive commentary on the subjects and issues that matter to people in St. Louis. Midrash St. Louis member Michael Leary will moderate a post-film discussion with directors Jim Kirchherr and Frank Popper and subject Marlon Wharton, and members of the Gentlemen of Vision will perform