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

Director:

Davis Guggenheim
16 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Charles Adams Charles Adams ... Self
Jonathan Alter ... Self
Robert Balfanz Robert Balfanz ... Self
Harriet Ball Harriet Ball ... Self
Steve Barr Steve Barr ... Self
Celeste Bell Celeste Bell ... Self (as Ms. Celeste Bell)
The Black & McGee Family The Black & McGee Family ... Themselves
Geoffrey Canada ... Self
James Carter III James Carter III ... Self
Todd Dickson Todd Dickson ... Self
The Esparza Family The Esparza Family ... Themselves
Mike Feinberg Mike Feinberg ... Self
Adrian M. Fenty Adrian M. Fenty ... Self (as Adrian Fenty)
Howard Fuller Howard Fuller ... Self
The Garcia Regalado Family The Garcia Regalado Family ... Themselves
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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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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" 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 Beyond the Blackboard (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Selma
Written and Performed by Michael Brook
Courtesy of Canadian Rational
Under license from The Bicycle Music Company
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User Reviews

 
Our System is Broken
3 October 2010 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The system is broken. I am neither a teacher, Union official or politician ... simply a U.S. citizen who sees a real problem with a public education system that seems to adequately serve very few.

After viewing Davis Guggenheim's documentary, I find it fascinating to read some of the comments made. To my eye, the film does not blame any one group for the problems - though lousy teachers and a misguided union do take some serious criticism. Shouldn't they? The film makes the point that excellent teachers and principals can definitely make a difference. The specific subject families show caring, involved parents and eager to learn children. Of course, not every family or child fits this definition. But shouldn't the system work for the engaged parents and students?

There is no shortage of blame in this game - politicians, unions, teachers, administrators, parents and rowdy kids. Regardless of the situation, it's clear that the overall system is flawed, especially in lower income areas. Do neighborhoods drag the school down or is it vice versa? To me, it doesn't matter. The system should reward the teachers, parents and children who do want to teach and learn.

Regardless of your politics or personal involvement in education, I commend Mr. Guggenheim ("An Inconvenient Truth") and Mr. Gates and Ms. Rhee for rocking the boat ... for getting the questions asked in a public forum. This movie should inspire much debate and discussion - typically the beginning of real improvement and change. Let's hope this is the needed start to finding a better system.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 October 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Waiting for 'Superman' See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$139,033, 26 September 2010

Gross USA:

$6,417,135

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,433,688
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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