• Swimming: Mind, Body, Spirit Swimming: Mind, Body, Spirit


Rafael 2 Sun, Oct 12, 2014 2:30 PM
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Active Cinema
Running Time:73
Director:Suzanne LaFetra
David Collier
Producer:Suzanne LaFetra
David Collier
Cinematographer:David Collier
Editor:Jennifer Chinlund
Print Source:Suzanne LaFetra
Note Writer:Rob Avila


A group of Oakland teens finds personal liberation and mutual support while working toward a collaborative performance at Destiny Arts Center, an organization devoted to youth empowerment through dance, theater, and martial arts. David Collier and Suzanne LaFetra’s stirring, up-close documentary follows five of the teens in the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company as they co-create a piece that asks them to dig deeply into the motivating dilemmas and hopes of their lives-to tell the truth, even if it hurts, because the truth will in some degree set them free. Not that the very real challenges before these young people will simply disappear. Candid discussions of poverty, alienation, HIV status, sexual abuse, and gang violence arise as dauntingly complex, if not insurmountable, obstacles to happiness. But under the gentle guidance and support of Destiny Arts’ Sarah Crowell, the young dancers find release and acceptance in performing their stories, turning the courage, determination, and stamina demanded of their lives into a contagious joy. WORLD PREMIERE

Dance performance by Destiny Arts members at Oct 11 screening.


Included Shorts

Swimming: Mind, Body, Spirit (10min) More

Additional Information

David Collier has been a figure in the film world since 1985. His documentary For Better or for Worse (1993) received an Academy Award nomination. He is the principal and founder of Studio B Films in Berkeley, which specializes in commercial work and documentary-based storytelling for a wide range of clients.

Suzanne LaFetra is a freelance writer and the Executive Producer of the documentary She Wants to be a Matador (2009). Being the mom/stepmom to four adolescents has made her particularly keen on the youth development work portrayed in the film. F R E E is her directorial debut.