An independent filmmaker group will screen “Waiting for Superman” next Saturday, unveiling the much-hyped film about American education before its fall release.
Director Davis Guggenheim has said he wants “Waiting for Superman” to persuade the public that education is “the issue of our time,” just as his earlier film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” energized people around environmentalism. And he’s gotten help from Bill Gates as he works to do that. The film, which I saw last week, vividly depicts the challenges facing public schools. It also endorses charter schools as a solution to the country’s education challenges and depicts teachers unions as a major impediment to improvement.
Guggenheim’s viewpoint has won the film criticism already from teachers union president Randi Weingarten. But her criticism only goes so far; at a recent screening of the film in Silver Spring, Maryland, the Washington Post reported that she joined Guggenheim and D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee in a walk down the red carpet.
The film will be screened at Envision, an event about documentaries that raise global issues. I’m hosting a panel about “Waiting for Superman” after it’s screened. More details about the event are here and below. And you can RSVP here (click “Registration”) — and get a ticket at a lower rate ($25, down from $35) by using the discount code IFPENV.