IMDb > The First Year (2001) (TV)

The First Year (2001) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
6 September 2001 (USA) See more »
5 Teachers. 180 Days. Our Children's Future.
Plot Keywords:
3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Full of idealism ... and maybe little else See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order)
Georgene Acosta ... Herself
Geneviève DeBose ... Herself
Joy Kraft-Watts ... Herself
Nate Monley ... Himself
Maurice Rabb ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Elisabeth Shue ... Narrator (voice)

Directed by
Davis Guggenheim 
Produced by
Joanna Friedman .... assistant producer
Davis Guggenheim .... producer
Kheshgi .... associate producer
Senain Kheshgi .... associate producer
Jill Murphy .... executive producer
Julia Schachter .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Brook 
Cinematography by
Sandra Chandler 
Davis Guggenheim 
Jennifer Lane 
Film Editing by
Jay Cassidy  (as Jay Lash Cassidy)
Sam Citron 
Peggy Davis 
Art Department
Nancy A. Knight .... lead scenic painter
Mike Wells .... construction coordinator
Sound Department
Aaron Glascock .... supervising sound editor
Scott Harber .... sound mixer
David S. McJunkin .... sound mixer
Editorial Department
Mitch Rosin .... assistant editor
Other crew
Susan Bradley .... title designer
Mark Dashiell .... production assistant
Joanna Friedman .... researcher
Scott Hatcher .... production assistant


Additional Details


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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Full of idealism ... and maybe little else, 16 October 2007
Author: postmanwhoalwaysringstwice from usa

The documentary "The First Year" follows five first year teachers into five schools in the Los Angeles area during the 1999-2000 school year. The teachers are passionate, driven, and full of the idealism of an unjaded educator. These are clearly strong, loving individuals who want to make a difference. Watching what lengths they will go to for the benefit of the students is admirable.

The film's overall presentation of them is less so. Clearly a full school year's worth of footage was shot for each of the five individuals and their classrooms. Documentarian Davis Guggenheim directed "The First Year" several years prior to his work on the academy award winning "The Inconvenient Truth". Unfortunately this earlier work does not benefit from the same clear, unmuddled, realistic perspective of that later work.

Clearly the film uses these five individuals to recruit new teachers. With that overarching intention, it makes the picture of modern education that much more sanitized as the film quickly paints over noticeable administrative issues or the needs to form a better link between parents and teachers. Using first year teachers as a statement of "it's not so bad, you should do it too" is imbalanced at best.

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