7.3/10
148
5 user 2 critic

I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School (1993)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Susan Raymond ...
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4 November 1994 (Sweden)  »

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I am a Promise, shows little promise
3 October 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I am completely puzzled by how this documentary received the awards it did. This story has a compelling starting point for the development of an outstanding documentary but really it seems to be simply a step up from a handy cam home video. I would have loved to hear about the Principal's thinking on education, and how that works in a school forgotten by the government. What is her philosophy of discipline or school management. The concept of "I am a Promise" seems to smack of indoctrination, even if it is a good sentiment. How that concept is integrated in all of the curriculum, if it is, would have been an outstanding example of a comprehensive pedagogy thoughtfully developed. This was a rather large school and to hear from the staff what they felt was going on would have provided a more three dimensional view. How the principal worked with the staff, how she coached them in her thinking, and what they thought of her approach would have made for an outstanding documentary. There would have been great potential if the issues were filled out a bit with some concrete facts and they "why" of the situation. I felt that if I watched the first five minuets and the last 5 minuets I would have seen the entire documentary. As it turned out I got little more than a glimpse of the tip of a much bigger issue. Not much to walk away with.


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