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Movies That Matter Presents Waiting for “Superman”

A groundbreaking documentary that provides an engaging and inspiring look at public education in the United States and has helped launch a movement to achieve a real and lasting change will be screened at the UU on Tuesday, October 18 at 4:30 pm.

Waiting for “Superman” is a 2010 documentary film from director Davis Guggenheim (Academy Award-Winning Director of An Inconvenient Truth) and producer Lesley Chilcott. The film analyzes the failures of American public education by following several students such as Emily, a Silicon Valley eighth-grader who is afraid of being labeled as unfit for college and Francisco, a Bronx first-grader whose mom will do anything to give him a shot at a better life.The film received the Audience Award for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film also received the Best Documentary Feature at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.

The film has earned both praise and criticism from commentators, reformers, and educators. One criticism of note: “The film dismisses with a side comment the inconvenient truth that our schools are criminally underfunded. Money’s not the answer, it glibly declares. Nor does it suggest that students would have better outcomes if their communities had jobs, health care, decent housing, and a living wage. Particularly dishonest is the fact that Guggenheim never mentions the tens of millions of dollars of private money that has poured into the Harlem Children’s Zone, the model and superman we are relentlessly instructed to aspire to.” – Rick Ayers, Adjunct Professor in Education at the University of San Francisco.

You will be invited to voice your opinion in a post-screening discussion.