Beating the Streets traces six years in the lives of Marilyn Brighteyes and Lance Marty, two inner-city Aboriginal teenagers struggling to turn their lives around. And it is the story of Joe Cloutier, the teacher -- and former dropout -- determined to help them.
In Beating the Streets, Marilyn and Lance candidly discuss the abuse and violence that drove them into prostitution and drug dealing. The video also introduces Joe's innovative approach, combining alternative education and popular theatre as a way to get young people off the streets.
The film begins in 1986, when Joe creates the Inner City Drama Association (ICDA) for teens like Marilyn and Lance. They participate in theatre workshops led by actors like Tantoo Cardinal Dances with Wolves and their plays explore important issues like substance abuse, family violence, suicide and racism. Performances lead to discussions with the audience in an effort to seek healthy solutions.
Then, in 1993, Lance encourages Joe to take on the immense challenge of opening an alternative school -- Inner City High -- for teens at risk. And we witness a remarkable transformation in Lance and Marilyn as they become leaders at the school.