*EURweb sat down for an exclusive interview with Arshay Cooper, Marie Mazzio and 7 time NBA All-Star Grant Hill to discuss “A Most Beautiful Thing,” the “must see” documentary of 2020! This film, directed and produced by award winning director, Marie Mazzio and narrated and executive produced by Academy Award winner, Common, Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade and 9th Wonder is literally life changing!
Called one of the best documentaries to unveil at South by Southwest by Brian Tallerico of Roger Ebert, an “absolute must watch” by Deadspin, and “a film we could really use right now” by Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter, “one of the best films this decade” by ChicagoNow, A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING, narrated by the Academy-Award/Grammy-winning artist, Common; executive-produced by NBA Stars Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade along with Grammy-award winning producer 9th Wonder; and directed by award-winning filmmaker (and Olympic rower) Mary Mazzio, chronicles the first African American high school rowing team in this country (made up of young men, many of whom were in rival gangs from the West Side of Chicago), all coming together to row in the same boat. An amazing story.
The film, which was set to debut at South by Southwest and open theatrically nationwide with AMC Theatres in March and again on July 31, is now, due to COVID-19, headed online with our partner Comcast/NBCUniversal. The film will begin streaming for Xfinity customers on July 31. Starting September 1, the film will stream on Peacock, NBC’s new streaming platform. The film will also be on Amazon later this fall, with a new companion soundtrack.
50% OF THE BOX OFFICE and FILM SCREENING PROFITS from A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING WILL BE DONATED TO SUPPORT THE WORK OF ARSHAY COOPER AND ROWING INCLUSION EFFORTS, TRAUMA RESEARCH and the NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND.
What we learn in this documentary, is that in the 1990’s a group of Black men, from the West Side of Chicago, have their lives changed forever! They form the nation’s first all-Black high school rowing team while battling against gang violence, PTSD, gun violence, drug and alcohol dependencies, criminal justice and prison threats; all against the backdrop of just trying to get an education.
In talking-head interviews, teammates including the captain, Arshay Cooper (whose memoir the film is based on), recall getting into rowing because they were offered free pizza at the first meeting. But they somberly articulate why the sport became a saving grace: Out on the water, they were away from the neighborhood’s barrage of gunshots and sirens.
A Most Beautiful Thing takes the viewers on an emotional roller coaster, with the highs and lows of being Black in America! How can Black youth excel and flourish with no support from the powers that be? It takes a village. It takes a community. It takes people to give them opportunities and extra curricular activities for their blossoming minds and curiosities. Given an equal opportunity, underserved and often underprivileged young people of color, can thrive. This movie shows how not only do these young rowers thrive, but they also excel and then give back to their communities! Isn’t that the American Dream??
Make sure to watch A Most Beautiful Thing, now streaming, on NBCUniversal’s new FREE streaming service, Peacock TV.