Thursday, September 16, 2010

TIFF: Look! He's Up on the Screen! We've Been "Waiting For Superman"

Posted By on Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Given the 24/7 debate over public schools in America, I really didn’t think I would be shocked when I sat down to watch Waiting for Superman. Boy, was I wrong. Leave it to a feature-length documentary to blow the lid off the issue.

The film follows the lives of a handful of children with dreams about tomorrow. Yet, geography, race and inept governmental choices stand in the way. One of the most enduring images that will haunt you for years is the scene of a lottery, where children face impossible odds simply to secure a spot in a classroom.

On hand to unveil Waiting for Superman were John Legend, who wrote an original score for the documentary and zillionaire Bill Gates, who appears in the film.

Bill_Gates_and_John_Legend.jpg

“We hope business people look at this movie and increase their participation in the education system,” implored Gates at a post-screening session with the press.

Within hours of its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, a major controversy erupted when the President of the National Education Association (she appears in the film) slammed the movie, saying it demonized teachers. The documentary details how teachers’ unions are a part of the problem, not the solution. It’s unfortunate that this ham-fisted agenda taints the main thesis of the film.

But watch the movie for yourself. It is designed to shake up the education world and it will inspire debate coast to coast. You should be a part of that debate.

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