Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Location: milwaukee, wi

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Boys of Baraka (Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady, 2005)

One last update before I head to Minnesota until Sunday - no updates until Monday at the earliest. But I did manage to catch Boys of Baraka, a movie I had been very excited to see, on PBS tonight. This is really a remarkable documetary, one that moves you into many different emotions and speaks to the power people have to help others.

The Baraka school in Kenya takes 12 middle-school aged boys from Baltimore and enrolls them for two school years. They do both academic work and work that teaches them discipline, respect, and other qualities that these boys need to stay out of jail and have a successful life. The progress of these boys, four of which are profiled in-depth in the movie, is at first rocky at best. But through the progress of the film, these boys learn some important things about life and their places in it.

The boys who are profiled in the movie are your stereotypical cires for help; none have fathers present, they get in trouble at school, and have trouble academically. My heart went out to Richard, who, as a 13 year-old boy, has a reading level of a second grader. No teacher has ever taken the time enough to even realize Richard's apparent learning disability, much less help him. Although I'm a stauch believer (and attender) of public schools, there's a difference between teachers who care, and those who don't. Without getting any further into urban politics, the school system, along with basically everyone in their lives, has failed these boys, and the Baraka School tries to repair some of that damage.

Without giving away what happens to these students, the movie moves into both inspiration and devastation in its final minutes. This is what a documentary is supposed to me; moving and truthful, and reveals something about life.


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