Family life can be difficult here and there, but excellent grades must be earned. Extracurricular activities allow diversion from family life, college applications, stress, and so much more. Amanda Lipitz’ uplifting documentary Step allows us to peak into a few struggling high school students, witness high school graduation, and freshman year in college.
High school seniors Blessin Giraldo, Cori Grainger, and Tayla Solomon attend Baltimore Leadership School for Young Woman (BLSYW) and aspire to attend universities after high school graduation. Coach Gari McIntyre and college counselor Paula Dofat assist these women to compete and win in a Step competition and fulfill their dreams.
Lipitz demonstrates complete empowerment to African-Americans, females, and Baltimore as a whole. Step isn’t just about steppin’, it’s about chasing dreams despite living in hardships. The accessible narrative makes it easy to sympathize with the students, steppers, and school administration. You are guaranteed to cheer (and perhaps, clap) for the students to succeed in life but what you may not anticipate is to sob during the empowering conclusion. I happily sobbed during the final ten minutes.
Documentary films are usually filmed lessons, but Step is far from the typical documentary. Step demonstrates extracurricular activities are good in most cases and yes, change the life for the better. In a perfect world, I would love to see another film about Ms. Giraldo, Ms. Grainger, and Ms. Solomon succeeding in college. In reality, Step should be considered for Best Documentary Feature at the 90th Academy Awards.