Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR ... See full summary »
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Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying "drop-out factories" and "academic sinkholes," methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. Written by
Sundance Film Festival
There is a scene in which Bianca, one of the little girls, is reading from a book about someone taking apples and bringing them into the city to sell. The book she is reading is called "The Giving Tree" and was written by Shel Silverstein. See more »
I was like what do you mean he's not real. And she thought I was crying because it's like Santa Claus is not real and I was crying because there was no one coming with enough power to save us.
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Repetitious and not that shocking at points, but the build up of the film's five case studies is powerful.
Waiting for 'Superman' is a documentary from Davis Guggenheim, the director of 2006's An Inconvenient Truth, that examines the faults and labyrinthine bureaucratics of America's educational government, a government more interested in protecting the jobs and pay salaries of lazy educators in public schools, rather than properly educating the average child.
The film isn't all that shocking. I admire the format, and the presentation of the film, but problems with the education of American children have been a highly publicized matter, especially a few of the points of which Guggenheim presents. At times it even feels like he's stating the obvious, and even repetitious in regards to sub-par school houses he points fingers at.
But the film's strongest impact comes from the case studies of five children, who show strong potential, but their parents struggle to set them up with the necessary education, placing them at the mercy of lotteries that determines the lucky few who get to attend successful charter schools. Their build-up is near impeccable, leading up to the film's emotionally powerful third act. A third act that, afterwards, is complimented perfectly by "Shine", a beautiful end credits song by John Legend, and overall one of the film year's very best original songs.
It isn't perfect, but I'm gonna give Waiting for 'Superman' *** out of ****
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