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High School (1968)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 1 May 1968 (USA)
Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman takes us inside Northeast High School as a fly on the wall to observe the teachers and how they interact with the students.

Director:

Frederick Wiseman
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Storyline

Producer and director Frederick Wiseman takes his camera into a high school in 1968 and records events as they occur. Told without narration, the film essentially listens in on students, teachers and parents as they deal with issues of everyday life. Students are clearly meant to do as they are told without question - many of the teachers are autocratic in this respect - and the developing clash of cultures is evident in almost every scene. The role these young women are expected to play after high school is particularly archaic by today's standards. Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Student Affairs See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Osti Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1991. See more »

Quotes

Male Authority Figure: It's nice to be individualistic, but there are certain places to be individualistic.
Female Student: I didn't mean to be individualistic.
Male Authority Figure: No, I'm not criticizing!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rushmore (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay
(uncredited)
Written by Steve Cropper and Otis Redding
Performed by Otis Redding
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User Reviews

 
High School (1968)
4 January 2012 | by MartinTellerSee all my reviews

As in TITICUT FOLLIES, Wiseman takes his camera inside an institution and exposes the authoritarianism that dominates the place. However, I have to say I was less disturbed by what I saw here. There are some clear instances of backwards attitudes: the notably different tones of the female and male sex ed lectures, what is apparently a fashion class where the teacher casually remarks of the students' physical shortcomings, and the chillingly obtuse reading of a letter from a student serving in Vietnam. But other clips that seemed designed to point out some sort of injustice or dehumanization didn't strike me as terribly egregious. Are we supposed to judge the English teacher as ridiculous for attempting to teach poetry with a Simon & Garfunkel song? When a kid says he doesn't deserve detention, are you just supposed to say "Oh, sorry about that" and let them skip it? Maybe some of the figures are a little out of touch and some are a little bit drunk on power, but I really didn't see a whole lot to make me think the school was a fascist nightmare or anything. Still, perhaps the attitudes speak louder than the actual actions, and there is a sense of isolation from the real world. And regardless of whatever messages Wiseman is trying to get across, it's a compelling look at a specific time and place.


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