Gentlemen of Vision


Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7:30pm

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 Channel 9 in September, but directors Jim Kirchherr and Frank Popper have provided SLIFF with an extended version of their inspiring documentary, featuring material not seen in the broadcast cut. And as a special treat, GOV will offer a live performance after the film screens.

80 min.

Directed by

Jim Kirchherr & Frank Popper

Film Category

Mean Streets: Viewing the Divided City Through the Lens of Film and Television Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Race in America: The Black Experience Show-Me Cinema
With directors Kirchherr and Popper, subject Marlon Wharton, scholar Joanna Dee Das (Washington U. assistant professor of Dance), and a performance by the Gentlemen of Vision.

Sponsored by

Center for the Humanities at Washington University and Washington University Libraries

Presented in partnership with Missouri History Museum and The Common Reader

Mean Streets is a program of The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative. With the support of the Mellon Foundation, Washington U.’s Center for the Humanities, in partnership with the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design, is engaged in a four-year initiative called The Divided City, which addresses one of the most persistent and vexing issues in urban studies: segregation.

Film Website

Official Website

Shown with

St. Louis Rises

St. Louis Rises

Andrew Litten

St. Louis residents recall when they first realized the racial divide in the city was so stark and ask themselves what needs to happen for the city to move forward and heal.

With director Litten.
12 min.