Saturday, April 30, 2011

Race to Nowhere Movie Review

This documentary is an interesting response to Waiting for Superman. Excellent movie review in Slate...

By the end of this school year, about half a million people will have watched the documentary Race to Nowhere. This stealth juggernaut can't be seen on TV, in any multiplex, or on DVD. But since the fall of last year, it's been shown almost 2,000 times in school auditoriums and community centers across the country—mostly to parents beset with the fear that they're blowing the raising of their kids. The emotional discussions following the screenings—part catharsis, part call to action, part finger-pointing—are excellent introductions to the contentious debate about what we want from our kids and from the people who educate them.

First-time filmmaker Vicki Abeles, 49, a Northern California lawyer and mother of three, was moved to pick up a camera when her children started suffering from school-related headaches, stomachaches, and panic attacks. What she produced is a wide-ranging polemic against our current education system that is artless, occasionally overwrought, and undeniably powerful. It confirms—and stokes—the unease many parents have about how miserable much of childhood seems today. It also sets up Abeles as the anti-Amy Chua. In
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Chua's thesis is that if you let up, your kid will become a coddled American slacker. Abeles offers the antithesis. She argues that part of America's greatness is born of our misfits and dreamers, that our gift to our children is time to engage in "aimless" play.

Continue Reading Battle Hymn of the Anti-Tiger Mother

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