What is Prologue?

A documentary about Prologue Alternative High School, located in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood.

00:04Copy video clip URL Images of the Uptown neighborhood in Chicago, scored by the song “The World Is a Ghetto” by War. Some audio and video distortion.

01:24Copy video clip URL The narrator recites a Ken Bedwell’s poem “Down the Streets of Uptown,” about living in a poverty-stricken city: “I walk around pushers, winos, and drunks / Most of the kids are raised like punks…” The poem repeats the question “Why and how come?” several times. 

02:08Copy video clip URL A student interviews a male staff member who speaks about the choice of the name “Prologue” for the Alternative High School. 

02:26Copy video clip URL An interview with Alice, Prologue’s director, and staff member Tina. Alice discusses founding Prologue to reach children that the other schools seemed to dismiss as uneducable.

03:48Copy video clip URL Social Studies teacher Kari Mull (?) speaks about the strength of Prologue’s programs. 

04:23Copy video clip URL Interviews with parents and guardians about their thoughts on their children going to Prologue. 

05:53Copy video clip URL Students Liz Scott and Marsha Johnson compare their experience at other schools to that at Prologue.

06:16Copy video clip URL A staff member discusses the school basketball team. Footage of basketball practice set to Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” 

06:57Copy video clip URL A student meeting the school lounge. A birthday party and leisure activities. 

08:41Copy video clip URL A Prologue student shares his thoughts on the school. 

09:04Copy video clip URL Students participating in the school’s building rehabilitation program. 

09:52Copy video clip URL A student shares an appreciation for the teachers at Prologue. 

10:15Copy video clip URL A mural depicting scenes from the school. 

10:37Copy video clip URL Brief conversations with students, including one who says that he’s planning to become a truck driver after he graduates from Prologue. A staff member discusses the importance of going back to school. 

12:05  Teacher Paul Siefert talks about the importance of  students learning endurance and following through. Another teacher talks about the opportunities for students to learn communication skills in her classes as opposed to in a public school class.

14:43Copy video clip URL A female student talks about her time at Prologue and her plans to become a secretary after graduation.

15:14Copy video clip URL Students and recent graduates talk about the differences between Prologue and public school and their plans for after graduation. 

17:00Copy video clip URL Teachers speak about Prologue’s future.

18:10Copy video clip URL The narrator speaks about the need for support to keep Prologue open. “You can help Prologue by donating money, time, equipment, furniture, books. Your support is greatly appreciated.” Ending montage and thank yous, scored to War’s “City, Country, City.”

20:00Copy video clip URL End credits. Production Crew: Alicia Cordona, Fred Gardaphe, Arthur Mora, Juan Mora, David Obermeyer, Jose Peña, Maria Peña, Oscar Peralta. Special thanks to Alternative Schools Network, Prologue Alt. H.S., David Obermeyer, Fred Gardaphe, Ken Bedwell for his poem “Down the Streets of Uptown.” Edited 1979.

20:40Copy video clip URL Static. 

21:03Copy video clip URL More montage of footage shot for the video, set to “The World Is a Ghetto.” 

23:44Copy video clip URL Black. Occasional brief snippets of footage shot for the video. 



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