Tomorrow’s Hope (2023) Short Film Review
“If it wasn’t for the Uncia family, I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have now. They taught me to never give up, and that’s exactly what I did.”
The words of teenager Jalen Rayford, who spoke in front of nearly 1,000 people and contributed to the necessary conversation. Not just in terms of the population of the South Side of Chicago, but the entire world. That brave and intelligent teenage girl decided to do something with what the world gave her. The channel is an organization built and led by three incredible visionaries who decided decades ago that enough was enough.
Thomas Morgan‘s documentary film short The hope of tomorrow an informative dive into the South Chicago education system and how the Educare program has evolved since its launch a few years ago. But it’s not just a referral archive built around interviews with the program’s pioneers. It is told from the inspiring perspective of three teenage students, all of whom grew up in the focus of the program. We see their progress come together in the uplifting part of their graduation ceremony.
Poverty-stricken Morgan’s lens. But it goes deeper into the chronology of the case and reveals its root, which is also a social issue. The “projects” were housing developments that decades ago housed African-American families and became centers of gang activity. Amid the violence, teachers were thinking about how to raise children in an educational environment that removed them from what was essentially a gang-related culture. They were heading straight for it and between the parents and the teachers they were saying ‘stand’.
But they still suffer from the after-effects of the violence in their core. Dead siblings and parental abuse affect them for life. But through the Ounce family (a consequence of Educare) they were able to envision the future. And as Jamal, one of the teenage subjects, candidly puts it, in the end, he just “hopes to see some change.” Yeah mate, we’re right there with you. But it’s not just his responsibility. More than celebrating what a beautiful film it is The hope of tomorrow is that we need to help transform the “future” into something positive. They hope that their future is not just about survival, but about thriving in a society that has always looked down on them because of the color of their skin.
The hope of tomorrow also reveals something much more progressive than we can imagine. The “projects” were demolished and the apartments were simply changed. Families watched as their homes collapsed and were reduced to rubble. And as tragic as it sounds, it opened the window to what many felt was a necessary perspective.
Still, it wasn’t easy. The Beethoven project turned into something much more optimistic and functional. The pioneers at the helm of such an ambitious project are responsible for Crystal, Jalen and Jamal’s future to make this world a better place. They are still active and still hope to improve the lives of the 5 million children who still live in poverty. The hope of tomorrow it only scratches the surface of one of the most beautiful endeavors on the planet. After the documentary, it will be worth going deeper.