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||IMDB Rating: 7.3/10 from PG votes
||Release: 11 March 2012 (USA) /
||Stars: Alexis, Elizabeth Vicary, Fred Rubino, John Galvin, Justus, Patrick, Pobo Efekoro, Rochelle Ballantyne
||Synopsis: Brooklyn Castle is a documentary about I.S. 318 - an inner-city school where more than 65 percent of students are from homes with incomes below the federal poverty level - that also happens to have the best, most winning junior high school chess team in the country. (If Albert Einstein, who was rated 1800, were to join the team, he'd only rank fifth best). Chess has transformed the school from one cited in 2003 as a school in need of improvement to one of New York City's best. But a series of recession-driven pubic school budget cuts now threaten to undermine those hard-won successes. Written by K. Dellamaggiore
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Brooklyn Castle was extremely well-received at its World Premiere at
Austin's SXSW Film Festival. This film shows how students who are often
written off as low achievers can be inspired and empowered to succeed.
I.S. 318 in Brooklyn has been building teams that win national chess
championships and by doing so empowering students to learn and to
succeed against very long odds. This inspiring film focuses in on a few
students and shows their struggles and their successes. These students
take us into their lives and show us how chess has changed them and
given them opportunities that they never knew existed before. Chess
provides them an avenue to success where they can go as far as their
minds can take them. The film is powerful antidote to all of the
negative attacks that we hear about teachers and public education (in
films such as "Waiting for Superman" which placed the blame for
educational problems on the Teachers Unions). This shows that students
succeed when they are empowered by excellent teachers. One creative
aspect of this school is that chess is offered to the students as an
elective course instead of just an extra-curricular activity.
Despite all of their successes they face even greater challenges from
budget cuts that threaten their opportunities to travel to tournaments
and compete. Education and the opportunity to achieve should be a right
of all American students, not a privilege of the well-to-do. This film
should be widely viewed by all those here in Texas and around the
country that are seeking to balance budgets on the backs of American
schoolchildren. We need to invest in the minds of our children if we
expect them to be able to compete in a global economy. Chess is an
excellent avenue that can be used to grow young minds. Bravo to I.S.
318 and to the filmmakers of Brooklyn Castle who have shown us the
successes being achieved at one school. This film needs to be widely
viewed by the general public and most especially by our educators and
our political leaders.
Tags for Brooklyn Castle Full Movie
, Elizabeth Vicary
, Fred Rubino
, John Galvin
, Pobo Efekoro
, Rochelle Ballantyne
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