24 March 2012 2:00 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Is 318, a Brooklyn public school residing in an area with a 70% poverty rate, with a top ranked chess team is the subject of the uplifting doc Brooklyn Castle. Director Katie Dellamaggiore spent several years with the chess team when budgets for non-essential school activities (ie: arts and extracurricular activities) were slashed by $1.3 million, which means a reduction in funds to travel to chess events.

The students of Is 318 share essentially the same story as those briefly chronicled in Waiting for Superman and The Lottery – they hope to get into a good school, and that rides on either a lottery or a standardized test. I suppose a good school will provide the resources to continue their chess career, although there is a not-for-profit that hooks up several Is 318 students with chess-masters, Chess in Schools. Scenes of students discovering which school they got into, complete with intercut interviews of students and parents »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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