This TFF 2011 doc chronicles four years in the lives of three Roma children fighting for their rights to equal education. The film starts today at the reRun theater in Brooklyn with director Q&As after select show times all week long.
Programmed by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the reRun Theater is proud to present Our School, the eye-opening documentary that made its US premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. The film will run for one-week from Jan 18-24. After Tribeca, Our Schoolwent to over 60 festivals around the globe, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 SilverDocs and Best International Feature at the 2012 Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, among other prizes.
Co-directed by Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coca-Cozma, Our School follows three children—Alin, Benjamin, and Dana—who are among the first Roma (commonly referred to as “gyspy”) students to be integrated into the ethnically segregated Romanian schools.
The children remain optimistic as they embark on their journey to the city schools, but quickly find that they are excluded by both the teachers and their fellow students. Equally disheartening is the fact that the government funds earmarked for integration are “inexplicably” used to build a Roma-only school in their village. Our School touches on issues in the lives of the Roma children and their families ranging from the fight for public education, the horrific effects of ingrained racism, and the toll taken by poverty. This mesmerizing, maddening and affecting tale will stay with audiences well after they have left the theater.
Co-presented by the Romanian Film Initiative, this documentary deserves a second viewing or a first if you missed it in 2011. Our School co-director Mona Nicoara will be at select showings over the course on the film’s limited run. She will joined by special guests such as James Goldston, the Executive Director of the Open Society Justice Initiative; Margareta Matacha, who once led Romania’s largest Roma rights group, Romani CRISS; and, Ethel Brooks, a Rutgers University professor and a Roma scholar.
This moving documentary that advocates for the rights of the Roma people is simply a must-see. To view all show times and to purchase tickets, please click here.