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Three Roma ("Gypsy") children from a small Transylvanian town participate in a project to desegregate the local school, struggling against indifference, tradition and bigotry with humor, optimism and sass. OUR SCHOOL is a bitter-sweet story about hope and race, and an elegy about generational prejudice and squandered opportunities.
- Show treatment
OUR SCHOOL follows three Roma children - Alin, Beniamin, and Dana - as they struggle to break the barriers of segregation, candidly challenging entrenched stereotypes and trying to make the best of the cards dealt to them by adults along the way. The film begins in 2006, as the children are moved from a dead-end segregated school on the outskirts of Targu Lapus, Romania, into a mainstream school in the center of town, where they will learn together with Romanians. Once in the mainstream school, the childrenâ€™s hopes and optimism are met with low expectations and further isolation.
Shot over four years, the documentary shows the lives of Roma children from close up, in unflinching yet intimate visual style characteristic of the new Romanian cinematography. The complex emotional structure of the film is propelled by vÃ©ritÃ© scenes, and the twists and turns of the story line are articulated in slow, tense reveals that are faithful to the rhythms of the small Transylvanian town.
A primary document on how policies and principles play out on the ground, this documentary illuminates the day-to-day workings of race relations anywhere in the world through the deceptively distant world of â€œGypsiesâ€ and Transylvanian peasants. By telling a compelling human story that is part of a broader rights movement, OUR SCHOOL seeks to mobilize new energies at a moment that is ripe for change, when Europe finally has its Brown vs. Board of Education moment.
- Running time
- 94 minutes
- Mona Nicoara ... Producer-Director
- Prod. Co.
- Sat Mic Film LLC
- United States
- Years of Production
- Targu Lapus, Romania
- Prod. Partners
- Pipas Films (Switzerland) - Co-Producer & Co-Director Miruna Coca-Cozma
- Release year
- Tribeca, Visions du Reel, Thessaloniki DocFest, Transylvania, One World Prague, Guth Gafa, Silverdocs, DokuFest, DokLepizig, Astra, Camden, CPH:DOX, Lone Star IFF, WatchDocs, Verzio, EIDF
- Grand Jury Prize for Best US Feature at Silverdocs, Silver Eye nomination, Gopo Award nomination
- Broadcast (Prod.)
- Lichtpunt, TSR, YLE
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