A school of thinkers

    EDUCATION: One teacher's determination in turning the fortunes of an inner-city plagued by urban decay, sectarian aggression, poverty and drugs.

    Films about schools show us how a value system is passed from one generation to another. These films can directly impact how we view and question schools and their teachers. Most of those remembered are filmed in the cinema verite style, from Wiseman’s classical High School (1968) to Longinotto’s student film Pride of Place (1976). The observational documentary gives the audience a direct insight and closeness to the characters, witnessing the real-life trouble and challenges of the students without seemingly being manipulated by commentaries and interviews.

    Neasa Ní Chianáin applies this observational style in her latest films, School Life (2016) which she co-directed with David Rane and now Young Plato. In both films, she focuses on uniquely gifted educators who make a fundamental change in the students’ lives for the better.

    Young Plato, a film by Neasa Ní Chianáin, Declan McGrath
    Young Plato, a film by Neasa Ní Chianáin, Declan McGrath

    Hostile environments

    In Young Plato, the main character is Kevin McArevey, school principal at Holy Cross Boys’ Primary in Ardoynbe, North Belfast. What makes Young Plato truly interesting is that the school is located in a rather . . .

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    Margareta Hruza
    Hruza is a Czech/Norwegian filmmaker and a regular film critic at Modern Times Review.
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