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Waiting for 'Superman' (2010)

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An examination of the current state of education in America today.

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16 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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A look at the events leading up to the Taliban's attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls' education followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai
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Cast

Credited cast:
Charles Adam ...
Himself
Charles Adams ...
Himself
...
Himself
Robert Balfanz ...
Himself
Harriet Ball ...
Herself
Steve Barr ...
Himself
Ms. Celeste Bell ...
Herself
The Black & McGee Family ...
Themselves
...
Himself
James Carter III ...
Himself
Todd Dickson ...
Himself
The Esparza Family ...
Themselves
Mike Feinberg ...
Himself
Adrian M. Fenty ...
Himself (as Adrian Fenty)
Howard Fuller ...
Himself
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The fate of our country won't be decided on a battlefield, it will be determined in a classroom.

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic material, mild language and incidental smoking | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esperando a Superman  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$139,033 (USA) (26 September 2010)

Gross:

$6,410,257 (USA) (19 December 2010)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Geoffrey Canada: One of the saddest days of my life was when my mother told me Superman did not exist.
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Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.20 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Wake Up Everybody
Written by Victor Carstarphen, Gene McFadden and John Whitehead
Performed by John Legend & The Roots (feat. Melanie Fiona)
Courtesy of Getting Out Our Dreams and Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
The Roots appear courtesy of Def Jam Records
Melanie Fiona appears courtesy of SRC/Universal Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Super
6 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I may not be a teacher, but both my parents were, and I grew up going to public school and got many views of the educational system as a whole. I'm really surprised to see that some teachers went to this and were actually offended by what it offered.

This movie did not set out to blame the issues of this country's education on the teachers. It depicts the issues with the SYSTEM. It's a system that protects the teachers' needs over the students in some cases. We all are aware that teachers don't get paid very well, but there are many upsides to a career as a teacher, and some go into this field because they are gifted, but just as many aren't.

What this film attempted to say (in my opinion, successfully) is that we must put the child's needs above all. The system is BROKEN, and that's all the director wanted to say. Through the establishment of the abuses of the unions, the communication of the compelling stats, and the following of just a few examples of a larger populace of suffering students and their families, the director did a BEAUTIFUL job of bringing issues to the surface.

Teachers who are talented, work very hard, and are committed to pushing students and not cruising through should not take offense to this film. However, there are plenty of teachers out there who should find this film threatening, just as many departments of education should, because on the whole, American schools are failing, and we have a lot of work to do.

Because there are educators who are threatened by the message of this film, I say that is what makes it a success. What effective documentary doesn't shake up the system and strike fear in those whose system it threatens? I'm ready for more!!!


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