Reviews

2 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
10/10
A Documentary of Profound Hope
9 August 2015
As our society catapults into the 21st Century, it's clear our educational system needs a new vision. The world is changing, and the kids in the classroom are changing, too. Our schools— largely—have yet to adapt to this reality.

But adaptation isn't simple. For big changes to happen—in schools or elsewhere—people need to see what "change" looks like. A model of "future education" must be formed as a prototype, and displayed for everyone to see.

Have you seen that model yet? Me neither.

"If You Build It" isn't that model, nor the answer to all educational problems. But it's an enormous step in the right direction. It's a film that leaves you with big ideas, profound hope, and a resurgence of optimism concerning America's creativity.

It's the story of a young couple who go to rural North Carolina with architectural degrees and teaching certificates. They establish a hands-on course for high school kids, teaching creative design alongside vocational skills. Each student designs projects they build themselves, learning not only technical skills, but the human skills of inventiveness and actualization.

The film may have flaws, but the blossoming ideas within are beautiful.

"If You Build It" feels like an important document. It's a thoroughly enjoyable journey into the quest for social progress. And it leaves you with an enthusiastic impression of what "future education" ought to resemble.
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10/10
Inspiring Young Filmmaking
30 October 2013
Following the mold of Morgan Spurlock, 4 college grads spend 8 weeks in the impoverished Guatemalan hills. They live on a dollar a day. An entirely predictable consequence of malnutrition and sickness ensues, while your heart latches on to the children and hardworking townspeople who live in that reality.

On the surface, it'd appear this movie is trying to pull your heartstrings. And perhaps it is. But what is most remarkable about "Living on One Dollar" is how well this little documentary is made. It's narrative is perfectly developed, it's tone perfectly shaped. The pace sails along wonderfully, never getting itself stuck by trying to be overly emotional. The photography is beautiful, too.

If this is what's to come of a generation of young filmmakers, I'm very excited.
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