A founding father of Kansas City, Benoist Troost was a Dutch physician who helped develop the land between what's now Broadway and Troost. Since then, the dynamic in that part of the city has changed dramatically. Kevin Bryce's documentary, We Are Superman, examines the transformation of a specific part of that area, around 31st Street and Troost. The Pitch asked Bryce about his film, which premieres this weekend at Screenland Crossroads (1656 Washington, 816-421-9700). Showings are at 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2:30, 4 and 6 p.m. Saturday; and 7 p.m. Sunday. (Watch the trailer at wearesuperman-themovie.com.)
The Pitch: What's your personal connection to 31st and Troost?
Bryce: I took the bus to and from UMKC, and the racial and economic dividing line of Troost Avenue became quickly apparent. After graduation, I moved close to Troost and began working for a nonprofit at the intersection. I learned there is a story of Troost that isn't as often told.
How far back historically does the film go?
We briefly mention the history of the Osage Nation in the area, but the film focuses heavily on post-World War II Troost. We dig into the systematic efforts by the real-estate and banking industries, neighborhood associations and school districts that caused the divide.
What's going on now at 31st and Troost, and how is it transforming KC?
In a time when prejudice is glossed over and progress is built on the backs of the poor, we are witnessing a movement of men, women and children who are supporting, encouraging and growing together, eliminating prejudice and stereotype, setting an example that ought to be understood and implemented, not only throughout the city but the country.