Synopsis by Mark Deming
This documentary offers an inside look at Colors United, a performing-arts workshop set up as an after-school activity for at-risk teens at Jordan High School in the tough Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts. As the students rehearse a musical theater piece (a musical update of Romeo and Juliet called Watts Side Story), we learn more about the African-American and Latino teenagers involved in the project, as they struggle against the temptations of guns, drugs, and violence and use Colors United as a safe haven and a means of expressing their thoughts, fears, and aspirations. Colors Straight Up received an Academy Award nomination in 1997 for Best Documentary Feature.
inner-city, teenagers, theater, workshop [class], African-American, Latino/Latina, struggle, drugs, overcome, performance-art, temptation, violence, project [plan]