Reel Link Films announces the Pasadena area premier of the documentary "Race to Nowhere." The documentary is a close-up look at the pressures school children and teachers face moving into the 21st century. The film which was shown in late February at the 2010 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) conference, is called "a must-see documentary" by Patrick Bassett president of NAIS. In addition, the George Lucas Education Foundation and Edutopia refer to the film as "another inconvenient truth." While the movie premiered in Orange County and the Westside in early March, it is now available to San Gabriel Valley residents.
The movie is poignant and definitely affects the emotional make-up of parents who are trying to raise mentally healthy children in a fast-paced, "success-obsessed" culture. The film focuses on families, teachers, and students. One of these families is the director's own who tells of her children succumbing to school stress. Another family recounts the sorrows of losing a child due to pressure to perform in school. The film captures caring and talented teachers expressing the joys and pains of teaching within an educational system where tests and assessments are king. Doctors, researchers, and authors share the latest views and research on the effects of over-scheduling, homework, and AP tests on a whole generation of children.
The director, Vicky Abeles, takes a personal battle and turns it political. Her careful inquiry into academic stress has the potential of igniting a national conversation about
"the pressures faced by American schoolchildren and their teachers in our achievement obsessed public and private education system and culture."
With "Race to Nowhere" she hopes to
"mobilize families, educators, and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens."
The Pasadena showing is scheduled for May 24, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. at the St. James Parish Day School and Episcopal Church. Tickets are available online for $15 or at the box office for $20. A second showing is tentatively scheduled earlier in the day but details are not confirmed. As was the case at the Orange County premieres, a discussion with the director Vicki Abeles will follow the film and be informative as she delineates steps to take in order to stand up to the pressure children may face in high achieving, public and private, privileged schools.
Thank you to Lauren Albrecht for the press release.