Photo by Madison Harwell
Pepperdine alumni, parents, faculty, and staff had the opportunity this past Friday to attend a reception and pre-release screening of Disney’s newest movie McFarland, USA at the AMC Promenade 16 Theatres in Woodland Hills. Before the screening at 7:30p.m., attendees were treated to a reception at Maggiano’s Little Italy where heavy hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks were served.
The film was percussed by a Q&A conversation between Craig Detweiler (Pepperdine Professor of Communication and Director of the Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture) and alumnus who the movie is based on Jim White (GPC ‘64).
Based on the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows low-income student runners from McFarland, CA, a city predominately racially composed of Latinos. With the drop-out rates high and the grim possibility of incarcerations from the prison across the street from the school, many student’s were looking for hope.
Enter fresh in town Jim White, who was let go from his previous jobs, and was at the end of the road.
In a series of events White creates a cross-country team, at the school, seeing the need in the community for the students to get away from their struggles.
In true under-dog fashion, the teammates band together to form a cross-country team.
White then inspires the students and pushes them to succeed, while building a state- championship winning team and also a legacy to endure for all of time.
McFarland USA, opens nationwide in theaters Feb. 20.
Follow Madison Harwell on Twitter: @mad_har