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"A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING": An Exploration of Determination and Unity

We will now be showing this film in the winter. More info to come!

VIth and VIIth Formers Presented With Unique Opportunity to Speak to Arshay Cooper, Team Captain and Author of Memoir

Rumsey Upper School students in the VIth and VIIth Form will watch the newly-released, award-winning documentary A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING at school. After viewing the meaningful film, students will discuss their thoughts on the themes presented in the feature with their peers and teachers, and then Zoom with author Arshay Cooper, a key character in the story.

Watch the Film on Amazon Prime


Nominated for a Critics Choice Award and called one of the best documentaries to unveil at South by Southwest by Brian Tallerico of Roger Ebert, an “absolute must watch” by Deadspin, and “a movie for we could really use right now” by the Hollywood Reporter, A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING is narrated by the Academy-Award/Grammy-winning artist, Common; executive-produced by NBA Stars Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade along with Grammy-award winning producer 9th Wonder; and directed by award-winning filmmaker (and Olympic rower) Mary Mazzio.  The film chronicles the first African American high school rowing team in this country (made up of young men, many of whom were in rival gangs from the West Side of Chicago), all coming together to row in the same boat.  An amazing story, based on the memoir of team captain, Arshay Cooper.

A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING explores not only the safety these young men found on the water (where, as the captain reflected, “we were in a place where we could not hear the sound of sirens”), but the trauma of violence and cyclical poverty, examining how these young men were able to support each other in reimagining a different future for themselves, and how rowing and the water provided the backdrop for that opportunity. These young men came together, after 20 years out of the boat, to race this past summer, not only to celebrate the team’s founding, but the fact that they are still alive. This is their story.

Read A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING Director's Notes