24 Jun 2021: ‘Sisters on Track’ review: Netflix documentary is inspiring and fun
Netflix documentary Sisters on Track, capturing the track and field prodigies Sheppard sisters, shows us that running can be a golden ticket to a secured life. Especially for Black girls, who are more disadvantaged due to their race and gender, running can earn them a solid footing. This is what Sheppards’s coach/godmother Jean Bell stresses multiple times in the one-hour and 36 minute-long documentary.
Beginning: It begins with the girls becoming ‘SportsKids of the Year’
The sports documentary, co-helmed by Tone Gr?ttjord-Glenne and Corinne Van der Borch, begins with the three sisters — Tai, Rainn, and Brooke, and their single mother Tonia appearing on an American talk show in 2016. Adjudged the “SportsKids of the Year” by Sports Illustrated Kids’, the girls are celebrated. This feat hasn’t been easy as they also had to fight homelessness, among other things.
Inspiring: The girls’ coach is the most dynamic individual here
However, this changes when the family is gifted keys to a fully furnished apartment in Brooklyn with two years’ rent, thanks to actor/filmmaker Tyler Perry. Then we are introduced to the most dynamic individual in this world, Bell. An administrative law judge by profession, Bell is a guardian we all wish we had. Fiercely strict, she is also her pupils’ best friend.
Moments: It shows how the world is different for Black people
Jeuness Track Club is a family that provides underprivileged young women a chance to be “part of something bigger than themselves.” Bell not only teaches the girls about menstruation, but also how things are for a Black person out in the world. The sisters’ older brother Kamaui was killed at a party and the danger of losing young talent to “thug life” is palpable.
Verdict: Lot of inspiring moments, but doesn’t quite click; gets 3.5/5
The documentary records the sisters’ life for four years, as they deal with pimples, boys, and securing scholarships through doing track. Some scenes are, however, rushed and unnecessary. The girls begin to document themselves and goof around, but it’s more of a filler than an instrumental addition. Average production of good and bad, Sisters on Track leaves you with a sweet aftertaste. Verdict: 3.5/5.
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