Film takes stand against public school system

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Courtesy of Walden Media

Nona (Viola Davis) and Jamie (Maggie Gyllenhaal) attempt to take over the school district.

Oscar nominee Viola Davis (“The Help”) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (“Batman Begins”) star in the latest film about education: “Won’t Back Down.”

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character Jamie, a woman living in the lower end of New York, has a daughter who has dyslexia. She is bullied daily and cannot learn due to her disability. The school turns Jamie down when she makes efforts to move her daughter from school.

She then meets Viola Davis’s character Nona, a teacher at the same school, who has issues with her son who also has an initially unnamed disorder.

Although skeptical at first, in an act of frustration the two decide to find out how to overrule the school. The film explores the difficulty of the task at hand. With talks about unions and the future of their children, decisions have to be made. They risk everything to make a difference.

The movie embraces the fact that if you stand up for what you want and believe in, you can make a change.

In my opinion, the trailer did not do the movie any justice. The film catches your attention from the start and keeps it for the duration of the movie. It has several subplots, but always returns to the main “free-the-school” plotline.

“Won’t Back Down” proved entertaining because it focuses on a subject a lot of people are familiar with. The film also lets you into their homes and personal struggles and inspires emotionally investment.

The film also gives a behind-the-scenes look into the inner workings of a school.

“The movie was great and it made me emotional. I didn’t think it was going to be that good,” said moviegoer Ryma Diaz.

Another attendee, Carlos Mendez, added, “The movie was entertaining, but there was a lot of talking in the movie.”

Roger Ebert, the famous critic wrote, “It embraces a slowly growing movement in which parents vote to take control of their children’s own schools, reward gifted teachers, and throw out overpaid, lazy and administrators held in place by seniority. It all sounds so simple–and it is, because the movie makes it simplistic.”

The movie is based on actual events and is set to be released this Friday. Visit your local theatre for tickets and showtimes.