Roller Dreams

Roller Dreams

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 6:15pm
Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 7:15pm
Community Partner(s)
Kate Hickey | 
Australia/US |
 2017 | 
80 minutes

Roller Dreams is a fascinating and unexpected story of a utopian scene created by African Americans in the late 1970s. Roller skate dancing briefly blossomed into a genuine national craze, but when Hollywood represented the culture, it was white actors who played all the roles and white dancers who took the credit.

Roller Dreams offers the feel-good vibes you might expect from scenes of young people dancing on wheels to disco music at Venice Beach in Los Angeles. The film combines giddy entertainment value with untold stories about the quest for creative expression, and the American dream against a backdrop of police harassment, gentrification, and the threat of downward social mobility. Director Kate Hickey’s film is filled with unforgettable characters including charismatic Mad, who runs the beach; Sally, who leaves her Middle Eastern immigrant upbringing behind when she falls in love with roller skating (and Mad); and Duval, who fashions his own wacky outfits and is often dressed as Superman. In the present, many of the people in the film suffer from health problems and poverty, but a beach reunion promises an opportunity to come to terms with the past. Amazing archival footage of coordinated dance routines and other roller-dancing sessions on the beach make this an unmissable experience. -KR


Kate Hickey

Kate Hickey is a filmmaker, graduate of Sydney Film School (2005), and the recipient of the Sculpting Pictures Awardfor film editing. She has assisted acclaimed editors DylanTichenor (Brokeback Mountain, Magnolia), and Myron Kerstein (Raising Victor Vargas, Garden State), working on films such as The Town, Whip It, Fugitive Pieces, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. In 2013, she edited the road trip comedy Farah Goes Bang (Nora Ephron award at Tribeca Film Festival, Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at CAAMFest). Kate was editor on the HBO series Girls, and Atsuko Hirayanagi’s feature film Oh Lucy!, which screened at Critics Week in the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Roller Dreams is her directorial debut.