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 »
This movie flows in the same vein as the Oprah Winfrey Show, Fox news, CNN, and McDonald's. It's tasty, yet difficult to digest.
There are a few themes strung throughout this noose of a movie. One major theme is: win the lottery and you'll succeed. There are two lotteries in Waiting for Superman. One is the lottery that is played out in the gymnasiums of the schools, with numbered ping-pong balls and kids who make your heart ache. The other lottery is 500 billion dollars, the $$$ of the school system in America.
For students in this movie "win the lottery and you'll succeed" means they have to be lucky, or else the public school system will fail them. This may change though, as superman is on his way. Superman is not in the guise of an administrator or a teacher. Superman is a politician (and his sidekick an entrepreneur). The business of education is a lottery. Billions of dollars are to be had by superman if he and his sidekick can fix the lottery. Students must rely on luck concerning their lottery; yet, superman can supersede luck because he and his partner have a lot of money. But they want more.
The definition of "fix" is different for politicians and businessmen than for regular people. For most, fixing the education system means making it better for the majority of people involved. For superman and his partner, fixing the lottery means using his influence and wealth to enable a tiny percentage of the population to suck money from the education system. If superman fixes the lottery, he is much more likely to 'win' the cash that comes from the business of education in America.
There are many problems with education in North America. Inviting businessmen into the sphere of education in such a manner is not a path to improvement of the majority.
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