The effects of history on the present can be felt in the upcoming release of a compelling film, “Out of Omaha.”
The documentary follows Darcell and Darrell “Rell” Trotter, twins who grow up in north Omaha and try to escape poverty and trouble. It raises difficult questions: Can these young black men escape their circumstances? And must they leave Omaha to do it? The film offers no easy answers. Instead, for 92 minutes, “Out of Omaha” serves an up-close and unvarnished look at the challenging circumstances facing the young men as they come of age.
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On Thursday, the film premiered at Aksarben Cinema. It will run through Sept. 4.
It also will be shown in Kearney on Sept. 6, 7 and 8 at the World Theatre.
On Sept. 9, viewers can find it on TV on Starz and available for download on most streaming services.
“Out of Omaha” first showed publicly in New York City last year, where it won the Audience Award at the DocNYC film festival and has been making the rounds at film festivals around the country. “Out of Omaha” showed briefly in Omaha in March, during the Omaha Film Festival, where it won the Audience Choice Award of submitted documentaries.
The documentary is prolific in this way: Johnston and his friends spent almost a decade following the twins and capturing their lives on film.
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Oliver Henderson plays first base waiting for some action. Without a left hand Henderson is able to adapt to the world of baseball.
Libby DiBiase runs in a 14-pound vest during a workout at CrossFit Kinesis in Gretna. This Omaha police officer uses CrossFit to keep in shape for her unpredictable job.
Jeff Strufing enjoys being able to help people during group classes at Kosama. Despite his cancer diagnosis, Strufing hasn’t let it change his lifestyle. The 46-year-old business owner, husband and father of two still works part-time as a paramedic and teaches weekly classes at three gyms. He’s done it all while undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
Margie Irfan practices bicep curls during her workout at Life Time Fitness. Iftan entered the world of bodybuilding when she was 46 years old. The Omaha woman has lost 10 percent of her body fat while maintaining the same weight — and she’s got the toned muscles to prove it.
Jack Mallett practices his tennis skills at Miracle Hill tennis courts. After deciding to quit drinking Mallett, 92, made tennis his addiction.
Michelle Graft runs on the Wabash Trace in Council Bluffs to train for her portion of the MS Run the US relay. Gaft who has MS uses running to keep the symptoms at bay.
Mary Manhart works out at the Downtown YMCA four times a week. She sees the people at the gym as her extended family.
Hadeel Haider started to exercise after being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma, and she fell in love with Zumba. Haider now teaches Zumba class at the the Maple Street YMCA.
Nancy Nygren works out at least three times a week to help keep off more than 65 pounds that she lost a decade ago. “She’s the perfect example of somebody who has lost a significant amount of weight and has done it the right way,” said Jennifer Yee, who leads Nygren’s boot camp class and is also an instructor in Creighton University’s exercise science program.
Tom Carney does a workout during kickboxing class. Carney used to work out so he could eat whatever he wanted. Now he understands diet is just as important as exercise.
Rik Zortman runs the name of children who have died of cancer. He has ran the name of more than 250 children since his son's death in 2009.
Katie Chipman, a 12-year-old gymnast with juvenile arthritis, practices at Airborne Academy. Chipman works to hard to compete and only misses practices if her symptoms are too severe.
Joe Reisdorff and Dan Masters grew up in the same town, attending the same church were never close until Reisdorff needed a new kidney and Masters was a match.
Still recovering from a heart transplant, Rick Ganem wouldn't be able to make it to his daughter Sarah's wedding. So she brought the ceremony to his hospital room.
Since starting her weight-loss journey, Keasha Hawkins-Moore is closing in on dropping half of her starting weight — 500 pounds. During that journey, she's battled cancer, lost loved ones and strengthened her faith.
Leota "Lee" Brown suffered a stroke and two days later, the 98-year-old was back to her spunky self at home in an assisted-living facility. She's required no therapy since the stroke.
Harley Swanek had been living with an undetected heart condition for the first seven months of her life. It caused her to become unresponsive for more than 30 minutes, leading to a brain injury. Harley's back home and relearning all of her milestones.