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‘Superman’ heads to RI

October 15, 2010

Davis Guggenheim’s controversial documentary “Waiting for Superman” premieres next week in Rhode Island. RI-CAN is hosting a sold out screening and panel discussion on October 19th.

The movie follows a group of students who have staked their dreams for the future on getting into a charter school. Critics charge that the film oversimplifies the challenge facing public schools and vilifies teachers’ unions for dramatic effect.

Supporters hope the film will do for education reform what “An Inconvenient Truth” did for global warming.

Film critics have been divided in their opinion of ‘Superman.’

David Denby of The New Yorker felt it overplayed the drama of charter school lotteries, while ignoring questions like whether the charter school model can work in larger public schools.

Betsey Sharkey of the LA Times calls ‘Superman’ compelling and heartbreaking.

Brick by brick, Guggenheim tears apart the current system, and brick by brick he puts up his idealized schoolhouse filled with passionate teachers ready to rap their math lessons or do whatever it takes for kids to learn. It’s hard not to get caught up in the possibilities…you hope that if nothing else the film will invigorate a debate that makes schools better.

For anyone who didn’t R.S.V.P. in time to get a seat at the RI premiere party, “Waiting for Superman” will be in general release starting October 22nd at the Showcase Cinema in Warwick.

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