I was blown away at a preview of "Waiting for Superman" last night. Amazing movie; powerfully written, incredibly well-shot, absorbing, shocking. I knew it would be a compelling look at failing public schools. After all, this is the guy that gave us "An Inconvenient Truth."
What I wasn't expecting was an emotional roller-coaster ride.
Sure, the movie focuses mostly on "those" kids - you know, the not-your-kids that go to public schools in the Bronx or DC or LA. The ones from desperately poor families. The ones that don't go to school with your kids.
But there is no sense of detachment left by the end of this film. With a level of journalistic and artistic genius rarely seen, the movie reels you in, moment by moment, until the very end, when you are left sitting with moist eyes staring in disbelief at the mess of it all: the public schools, the teacher's unions, the adult self-interest, the incredible unfairness of a system that squashes every hopeful little sprout of reform. And you're left sick at the plight of the six little kids you've somehow come to care about very, very much.
Theater full of journalists last night and not one person moved until the credits were all but over.
In theaters starting this Friday. Check it out.