Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Waiting for 'Superman'

Waiting for 'Superman' (2010)

Directed by Davis Guggenheim

Written by Davis Guggenheim & Billy Kimball

Stars: Geoffrey Canada, Bill Strickland, Johnathan Alter, Michelle Rhee and Randi Weingarten

Now that the blog-a-thon is almost coming to a close, I wanted to see something different than the dramas and comedies I have seen. I wanted to a documentary. From the team that bring the world  and thinking Al Gore made that movie himself, An Inconvenient Truth. Guggenheim brings us the hot button topic of education or lack thereof in this country.

This talking head documentary the lives of five young people ranging from first to eighth grade as their families to find the best schools for them. Anthony is Washington, DC youth that has been held back because he doesn't like school. Daisy is girl from LA that dreams to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Francisco wants to be a reporter. He has trouble with his teacher who thinks he should be left back. Bianca is going to private school where her mom has been behind on the payments.

The main focus of the film is that the school system is broken. Politicians and school reformers have been trying to solve the problem with failing of our school children since the 1970s. The documentarian shows that it doesn't matter that much about where you live makes you fail, it's the teachers as a whole. They are building the foundation for the next generation and the bad apples are poisoning everyone else.

Geoffrey Canada is a person that is known for having a plan to dramatically change the way school is thought. A DC superintendent Michelle Rhee wants to change the way teachers are being complacent with the teacher's union president, Randi Weingarten. What can be done? It seems that it would not get solved anytime soon.

The film got attention that it wasn't nominated for Best Documentary Feature Oscar. It did get the next best thing. It got an Omie Award. A nice consolation prize. I am reminded about my times in school where I had to take remedial classes, because I was not great with math. I'm still not good with it. Did I have great education? No. I think I got an average one. Educators don't want you to exceed. You are just another body.

The impression I had the film was that I thought it was a thought provoking film, but what is the viewer supposed to do. If the government can't do anything or reformers or parents or students, then what? The movie is Food, Inc. We know that there is a pink elephant in the room, but nobody is addressing it.

My Rating

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