Pearl
by Phil Boatwright

SYNOPSIS: Set in 1920s rural Oklahoma, PEARL is the true story of Pearl Carter Scott, the youngest licensed pilot in American history.  Mentored by world-renowned aviator Wiley Post, Pearl first pilots a plane at age 12 and becomes a commercial pilot and local barnstorming celebrity before she reaches adulthood.  As she finds love and becomes a wife and mother, her two greatest passions collide.

PEARL is a family-friendly historical drama about a spirited, young daredevil coming of age.  She pursues her dreams against the backdrop of the deepening Depression and catastrophic Dust Bowl and comes to value the love and support that flows from strong family ties.

The film stars Elijah De Jesus (Pearl), Andrew Sensnig and Tom Huston Orr. It is directed by King Hollis and Donna Carlton is credited as Head screenwriter. A production of the Chickasaw Nation and Media 13, the film is in limited release. Visit the PEARL website for further info: http://www.pearlthemovie.net/.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Here's a film I feel deserves viewing despite itself. By that I mean, the acting is occasionally clunky, the background score somewhat insipid (though at times it does come close to capturing the mood of the era), the aerial shots are less than spectacular, the edited mix of video and film looks cheap, and by film's end we're not sure if the production has white-washed young Pearl's relationship with aviator Wiley Post. But while these inadequacies are distracting, there was an element that holds viewer attention throughout – the story.

In an age where CGI effects are the latest stars in Hollywood's firmament, writer Donna Carlton manages to tell a compelling tale. Indeed, I didn't want the film to end, I got so involved. (This would have been a great TV miniseries.) And director King Hollis keeps a nice pacing.

The production implies that the family was not only made up of churchgoers, but one that harkened to messages of loving and forgiving others. The importance of family is lifted up and there's a potent lesson for the young – go for your dreams, don't give up, but keep in mind that your dreams will change once love enters the picture.

This is an engaging story based on real people. And despite its flaws, PEARL is a jewel.