With BUTTERFLY IN THE SKY playing the Santa Barbara International Film Festival here is Ariela Rubin's review from last year's Tribeca
Butterfly in the Sky is a documentary about the history of Reading Rainbow. The directors, Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb made the film because they grew up loving the show and were shocked that a documentary hadn't already been made about it.
For those who aren't familiar: Reading Rainbow was a show on PBS from 1983-2006 with LeVar Burton as the host. It starred children(who weren't actors) as they read children's books. The show was made to encourage kids to read.
I grew up watching the show. It was a part of my childhood and while I couldn't (prior to watching this) remember specifics anymore about the show, the theme song is one some of my friends and I randomly will still sing.
For me, this film was very nostalgic to watch, I absolutely loved it! I loved learning the history, some of the challenges, and learning how impactful having a show with a black host meant for black children. I think anyone would enjoy this documentary. It's a feel good one, and we all need more of that!
I went to the premiere which was attended by many of the people involved in the show so there was a lot of applause and excitement in the theater. There was a Q&A after which was very enjoyable. They discussed the experience of the directors when they first spoke to LeVar Burton, if LeVar was ever scared with any of the things he had to do on the show (be close to an active volcano, ride a horse, fly in a small plane etc) [the answer was no. he found it all exciting and was always up for the adventure], that LeVar couldn't imagine not doing Reading Rainbow even when he got cast in Star Trek, and more.
It was a lovely movie. Highly recommended! "Take a look, it's in a book, a reading rainbow."
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