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We're really proud to open a premiere run of a groundbreaking new documentary about the horrible state of the American educational system.  From Davis Guggenheim, the director of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, comes WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, a critical doc that will make you reconsider what public education is.  The film centers on a lottery, in which the future prospects of thousands of inner-city kids are gambled as some are chosen to enroll in special charter schools while others are left to rot in school systems with graduation rates near the single digits.

This lottery system, while humiliating and devastating to many of the participants, is a huge point in the film and one that raises more questions than it answers.  Roger Ebert articulates this perfectly in his column this week:

What struck me most of all was Geoffrey Canada's confidence that a charter school run on his model can make virtually any first-grader a high school graduate who's accepted to college. A good education, therefore, is not ruled out by poverty, uneducated parents or crime- and drug-infested neighborhoods. In fact, those are the very areas where he has success. Consider this: Those lotteries are truly random, as by law they must be. Yet most of the winners will succeed, and half the losers (from the same human pool) will fail. This is an indictment: Our schools do not work.
The subject is handled delicately but also with a clear political message.  Dana Stevens of Slate calls it "an unabashedly polemical film that's informative, urgent, [and] heartbreaking."  "This movie isn't just a necessity" writes Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, "It might change your future."It is this kind of filmmaking which is both necessary and important.  It is a film that will make you think, and one that will get you talking with your friends and families for weeks.  Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe describes it by saying: "This is a patient, simmering movie...It’s contemplative."  Every critic who sees the film (and its one of the best reviewed films of the season) devotes most of their writing to a discussion of its subject, and how this system should be fixed.

Morris of the Globe also notes how the documentary style is effective while not falling into the dangerous and potentially offensive Michael Moore-zone.  He writes: "Guggenheim also seems to know that this is such a charged subject that Moore’s ranting approach would be overkill here. The movie isn’t subtle, but it isn’t discursively histrionic, either. The atrocities of the public school system are well documented. This movie serves as pointed indicator that there’s a long way to go."

Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal sums up the message of the film, "The status quo can be changed, Bill Gates says in [the film], "but it takes a lot of outrage and good examples." The film delivers on both counts.

Be sure to check this movie out this weekend out the South Lamar Alamo.  Join the conversation that the nation needs to engage in.

And, we're part of this special promotion: For every WAITING FOR SUPERMAN ticket purchased you will receive a $15 gift code to give to a classroom of your choice on

News Categories: General News, Austin, Coming Soon


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