Film Review: Waiting for Superman
● By Wendy Sipple
This is a movie that every parent should watch.
Waiting for Superman takes a good look at our school system and how it is failing our children and our country’s future. I know for many, documentaries are not their cup of tea, but once every few years a documentary comes along that should be required viewing...this is one of them.
I think everyone will be glad to know that Waiting for Superman stays away from party politics and focuses on the schools. The film follows five elementary school children, mainly from bad neighborhoods, and their quests to get into better schools.
The one major complaint I have about Waiting for Superman is that it takes a good 30 minutes before the film really starts digging into the problems of schools. During the first 30 minutes the film makers spend most of the time setting up the plight of the differing families. Unfortunately, I felt that the set up for each story was paced way too slowly.
The good news is that once Waiting for Superman kicks in the film delivers great information and does adequately expose the serious problems that plague our school systems.
The school system subject is one I take very seriously and have done quite a bit of my own homework on. While Waiting for Superman is a great introductory film into the problems we face, if you are interested in digging deeper I would highly recommend the 20/20 special that can be seen on youtube at the link below.
The personal stories in Waiting for Superman do pay off at the end of the film. The scenes of the lotteries to attend the better schools are incredible. It’s hard to believe in America that someone’s future to a better life comes down to a ping pong ball. It’s heartbreaking to see the pain on the faces of families that loose the lottery because they understand what’s at stake. Winning that lottery is the difference between sending their child to school that sends just three per cent of its students to college versus a school that sends close to ninety per cent of its students to college.
Hopefully Waiting for Superman will enlighten people to a deeper understanding of the problems the education system in our country faces and perhaps move people take a more urgent, serious approach to applying the solutions.
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.