By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 29, 2013 at 12:54PM
The Anderson Monarchs (named after famed African American opera singer Marian Anderson and Jackie Robinson's Negro League baseball team the Kansas City Monarchs) is about an all-girls soccer team competing, living, and thriving in an at-risk neighborhood in Philadelphia.
Nominated in 2008 by Sports Illustrated as “Sports Team” of the year, they were also hailed as “the future of American Soccer” in the London newspaper, The Guardian.
The documentary follows two girls, Jlon, age 11, and Kahlaa, age 10, through their formative years from 2009 to 2011.
As the girls grow as soccer players, they learn more about their own abilities. Bodies and minds become healthier, aspirations grow, and new dreams are formed. Barriers start to fall by the side as they become confident in school. Marian Anderson, when asked about the time when she was denied the right to sing in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., replied, “I had no bitterness and I have no bitterness now, because we look for bigger things, and if you’re all right on the inside, you don’t have to worry about things like that”. The Anderson Monarchs, like their namesake Marian Anderson, are making history. By seeking a level playing field, they are changing how they are perceived. They are also setting the stage for other girls far and wide to walk in their footsteps. The real messages of the film are grounded in social justice, the right to be treated equally, and freedom. Most importantly, the film celebrates the rights of young women and the community they are building for themselves as talented athletes, emerging scholars, and leaders. Their remarkable story brings them to a place they only ever imagined in their dreams.
Directed by Eugene Martin, The Anderson Monarchs is now available digitally on iTunes as well as Amazon's VOD service, for both rental and purchase... and now on Netflix.