WAITING FOR SUPERMAN – Sundance Documentary Review
WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, directed by Davis Guggenheim (who also directed the documentary The First Year), provides a deep dive into the U.S. public-education system and presents a deeply disturbing image of the state of the education in America.
In Waiting for Superman, Guggenheim goes behind the education statistics and focuses on the people behind them. He profiles teachers, principals, school board supervisors, families and students in an attempt to uncover the reality of what is being done to our children. What could have been a dry and boring subject to study turned out to be a fascinating, disturbing and emotional journey in which the audience is subjected to the horror that is our public school system. From the students that are forced to enter a lottery to get into decent schools to the horrid practice that most school systems adopt of shuffling bad teachers around instead of firing them, we cannot help but be terrified as to where this is going. If things don’t change, we are headed towards a complete and utter disaster.
Now Waiting for Superman is not all doom and gloom. There is also a lot of hope. Take for example, Geoffrey Canada. After graduating from Harvard with a Masters in Education, he came back to his hometown of NY and founded the Harlem Children’s Zone, an educational center that uses a unique approach of following students from the moments they are born to the time they graduate college. This unique approach has lead to this organization having one of the highest rate of graduation in the country. It is people like Canada who give us hope that there is a solution to this mess but it will take a lot of work to start.
It is not a coincidence that Waiting for Superman won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival this year. It is by far one of the best documentaries I have ever seen in my life and I highly recommend that you go see it. If you do, make sure you take everyone you know too. But in the meantime, you can check out a clip of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN below.