Passionate and thought-provoking, Spiral Bound tells the remarkable true story behind Studio 345, a program that uses the arts to reach at risk students in Charlotte, North Carolina. Not only does Studio 345 use the arts to reach and teach underprivileged students, it also inspires these students to take agency in their learning and in their lives. Dynamically engaging the students (and the audience in the theater) with their program, Spiral Bound motivates the viewer to adopt student’s perspective in a seamless, subconscious manner, which in turn allows the film to speak for itself. Incorporating original student-produced visuals and songs from Studio 345, the creation of the film is equally as impressive as the message captured within.
Masterfully utilizing the personal narratives of each student in the film to clarify the importance and power of arts to our nation’s youth and prosperity, Spiral Bound visually captures how Studio 345 is capable of inspiring students who were previously disenchanted by our school system. The film also employs these student narratives to tell the over-arcing story of art’s disappearance in our nation’s curriculum. Defunded and discarded, art in our nation’s school system has become virtually extinct, especially in impoverished areas. Hence, Spiral Bound is a call to examine the school system as well as the budget cuts that have grave consequences on the student’s ability to learn and to influence their community.
Through its riveting footage, phenomenal film score, and balanced interviews, Spiral Bound captures the mission of Studio 345 as well as the essence of Charlotte’s youth to paint a beautiful portrait of what learning should be in America’s school system.