Gordon Parks Elementary
2015, Kevin Willmott, USA, 57 min.
- Sun, Aug 14th 3:00pm
BHFF veteran (DESTINATION PLANET NEGRO, JAYHAWKERS) and CHI-RAQ screenwriter Willmott turns a documentary eye on his native Kansas City to explore a crisis situation that is becoming all too common in urban schools. Gordon Parks Elementary School, which serves some of the city's most disadvantaged children, finds itself facing closure because of low test scores. Willmott's intimate portrayal of the school's dynamic principal, dedicated teachers, and challenge-overcoming students (as one educator notes, "Can you imagine your kid doing his homework if he lived in a car?") raises wide-ranging questions about over-reliance on standardized testing and the politicization of education. (MR)
This is a family-friendly film.
AUGUST 14: Director Kevin Willmott will be present for audience discussion. Kevin is a Black Harvest alum with films including DESTINATION PLANET NEGRO and JAYHAWKERS, and is the screenwriter of Spike Lee's CHI-RAQ. He will be joined by Executive Producer Nancy Seelen and Producer Sam Zeff, and the discussion will be led by NBC 5 Chicago's feature reporter, LeeAnn Trotter.