The most exclusively shown film in the Student Association's Film Series this February may also be its most noteworthy.
Race to Nowhere, a documentary that examines America's school system, will be shown just one time on one day in the Student Union Theater next week.
On Monday, students will have an opportunity to watch a film that critically examines our country's schools. Unlike Waiting for ‘Superman,' a renowned documentary that supposes our education system is not nearly demanding enough, Race to Nowhere presents a contrasting viewpoint: our students are being overworked ineffectively and are not learning the necessary skills to thrive in life.
"It's a documentary about the failure of the school system in America," said Shervin Stoney, SA vice president. "It basically shows how our system is very test-focused and how we have all of these kids who are now becoming depressed. It also shows that we have teachers who are more concerned with whether their students are passing the exams and less concerned with what they're actually learning. "
First-time director Vicki Abeles, a former Wall Street attorney and mother of three who became alarmed about the school system when her 12-year-old daughter was treated for stress-related illness, created the film.
"As a mother, I experienced the stress firsthand and realized that no one was talking about it," Abeles said in a press release. "I saw kids who were anxious, depressed, physically ill, checking out, abusing drugs and, worst case, attempting suicide. I felt compelled to speak out about this crisis by making a film and giving voice to the students, teachers, and parents. I wanted to expose a deeper truth about our education system. We are graduating a generation of robo-students, unable to think and work independently, creatively and collaboratively."
The film is probably the least known of all the other selections in SA's film series this month and is set to air at 6 p.m. Other showings include Easy A (2/9), RED (2/10-2/11), Due Date (2/17-2/18), Tangled (2/23), and Megamind (2/24-2/25).
Students can guarantee themselves a spot in the theater by pre-registering online at sa.buffalo.edu. Registration, however, is not mandatory, and popcorn will be served to all in attendance, free of charge.
Race to Nowhere may not be a widely known film, but it promises to raise awareness about a problem facing our youth and has been received by warm reviews.
"Every once in a while, a film comes along that has the potential to change the culture," said New York Times bestselling author Rachel Simmons (Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls) in a press release. "Race to Nowhere shines a light on the crisis of learning and meaning facing American education. The film is both a call to arms and a beacon of hope, a source of relief and outrage and a way forward for all of us."