Join us for a special screening of the critically acclaimed documentary, The New Public, at the 21th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival!
“This film is filled with very special human drama that transcends the education film genre and is better than any fictional film about schools that I’ve ever seen. The only film that I remember capturing kids and educators in the inner city as effectively was the great TV series The Wire… That’s a high compliment.” – Mark Phillips, EDUTOPIA, The George Lucas Educational Foundation
In fall 2006, former DJ, point guard and teacher turned first-time principal, James O’Brien, opened a small public high school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where 1/3 of residents live below the poverty line and the graduation rate is 40%. With infectious optimism, O’Brien and his team of eight undertook a an unconventional approach and ambition mission: Create a school with an arts-oriented curriculum that also emphasizes self-development, community collaboration and social change. Initially, the buzz from everyone was that this was a dream come true. But conflicts arose when untested idealism was challenged by long-standing realities far bigger than school. Over four years, this heartfelt verité film follows the journey of students, parents and educators striving to make a difference in the futures of young people whose lives are stark representations of our country’s education and opportunity gaps. Through the prism of one inner-city public school, we witness complexities faced by urban public schools and communities everywhere.
Directed by Jyllian Gunther, 87 min, 2013, USA, Documentary, English Q&A after the screening.