SXSW Film Reviews

SXSW Film Reviews

When I Rise

Documentary Feature, Lone Star States
D: Mat Hames; with Barbara Smith Conrad, Harry Belafonte

Opera may not be thought of as a battleground in the civil rights movement, but this Austin-made documentary proves it was, vividly recounting how in 1957 state legislators pressured the University of Texas to pull an African-American freshman from a production of Dido and Aeneas because she'd be playing the love interest of a white student. Strong archival images and articulate interviews thrust us back to the UT of that era and make us feel the impact on the young Conrad, who, then and now, couldn't be more poised and regal playing Aida. In revealing this episode as a crucible for the East Texas native, how she transcended it to become an internationally renowned mezzo-soprano, and how both university and Legislature eventually made amends to Conrad, director Hames' film is as soaring and inspirational as the spirituals that have always given Conrad solace and strength.

Wednesday, March 17, 11:30am, Paramount

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. For scheduling on the go, here's a SXSW Film Pocket Guide, which includes the handy Film Grid. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters/ for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More by Robert Faires
Moontower Comedy 2018: Ali Siddiq
Moontower Comedy 2018: Ali Siddiq
The Houston comedian on taking his act back behind bars

April 19, 2018

Fusebox and Moontower Fests
Fusebox and Moontower Fests
Fill your weekend with experimental performance art and/or laughs

April 20, 2018

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2018

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle