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Marshall Curry '92 Chases 'Racing Dreams,' His Second Award-Winning Documentary

Marshall Curry '92 Chases Racing Dreams,
His Second Award-Winning Documentary

by Alex Weintraub '11

Marshall Curry '92 photo by David Shankbone
Marshall Curry '92

Racing Dreams, the second documentary feature by director Marshall Curry '92, opened this past weekend at the IFC Center in New York City. Curry, who received an Academy Award nomination for his first documentary, Street Fight, has continued to garner critical acclaim for Racing Dreams, which won Best Documentary at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.

The film documents the lives of three preteens as they compete on the extreme go-kart circuit, thought to be the Little League for NASCAR. In it, Curry attempts to portray the complexity of the children's lives as they balance growing up in working-class homes with the desire to make it to the top of the racing world. For the director, making Racing Dreams was a continuation of the lessons he learned while attending Swarthmore.

"On the surface, nothing could be less 'Swarthmore' than NASCAR," Curry says, "and before making the film, I couldn't name two NASCAR drivers even though it's the second biggest spectator sport in the country. But I learned at Swarthmore to feed my curiosity about things that I don't understand and to dig into the world to see what's going on below the surface. I thought learning about racing might give me some insight into the red state/blue state divide, and it turns out that there are some universally hilarious and heartbreaking stories in there about growing up - falling in love, figuring out your parents, and chasing your dreams." 

Racing Dreams will run until July 15 in New York and will open in Los Angeles on July 23.