Enjoy the trip into the ugliness of a godless world entirely dedicated to the paycheck and the health coverage, in one word, the world in which there are no trump cards anymore, where the pawns you are have the obligation to navigate on a chessboard that has lost its white and black squares. We are living in a de-structured world and we believe life is a miracle in a universe of violence and death. The real miracle is that we are still here to watch such films because their logic is that the world should have been terminated long ago by its own intestine melt-down.
The film is not about the school system nor the teaching profession; It is about human relations and empathy or antagonism in a mixed community, and a high school is the acme of such a mixed environment. The teachers are just pawns on the chessboard of educational politics and eventually policies. The school system is managed by people who have been teachers less and less and are politicians more and more.
To bring together in New York City or in Los Angeles half a dozen or more ethnic groups, religions and other diversity like sexual orientation is like a daily miracle that can never find its balance, its equilibrium, its perfection. Do not believe it is the fact of all the students. It only takes one to three to transform a class and even a school into a real hell for students, teachers and everyone else. And what's more, they double up their systematic aggressive disruption with the menace of civil lawsuits for the negation of or infringement on their civil rights of any sorts. The film only shows boys in that bullying disruptive game, but do not believe girls are different. They just use different tools and attitudes and particularly their sex appeal as a disruptive commerce on their skin.
Here a black teacher is left for dead, but he will survive, in a New York City school due to an aggression from a transferred delinquent from another school to this particular school. He moves to California and Los Angeles and becomes a substitute teacher for the greater part of a year. But the same situation and conflict will develop and it becomes a real open war between that teacher and the band of delinquent students who want to destroy him from the start. They are of Latino origin but hate the Blacks, the Chicanos, and the whites alike. If there were some Asians, they would hate them too.
What can a teacher do in such a situation?
Not much and the film shows there is no end but death. It is reduced at the end to the confrontation of the said teacher, Trevor Garfield, with one Latino student who has decided to come with two acolytes and shoot the teacher, but they have to show off to appear like manly masculine men, that they are not in fact. In that final scene the teacher will manage to challenge the boy in his masculinity and strangely enough, he will win.
But there is something wrong in this situation. It exposes the ugliness of politicized high school management, and yet the eulogy to this teacher will be delivered by the Chicana girl he had helped because she was appointed Valedictorian speaker for graduation day. But we do not know who took the decision, and if it is a victory for the teachers or the students over the over-politicized management of the school. It implies there was somewhere some kind of a possible negotiating in-between body that could and should have filtered the conflict to solve it before its final and lethal end. That's what is missing in this film. The teacher is alone in front of openly criminal, aggressive and provocative individuals that could and should be isolated and negotiated officially by some neutral group in the school. The film shows racism and sexism as being absolutely unavoidable, impossible to mediate or moderate. And that is not true.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
One Eight Seven
Action / Drama / Thriller
One Eight Seven
Action / Drama / Thriller
High school teacher Trevor Garfield is stabbed by bad-boy student. Fifteen months later, he moves to Los-Angeles to the unruly, predominantly Latino school. He has to tame wolf-like students.
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February 07, 2015 at 06:29 PM