The New Public

The New Public

Directed by: Jyllian Gunther

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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Q&A w/ dir. Jyllian Gunther!

In 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 an unconventional and ambitious 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.

NR, 87 Minutes
USA




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