You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Our School

Docu "Our School" follows the sad yet resilient journey of three Roma children as they grapple with prejudice and stereotyping.

With:
With: Alin Moldovan, Beniamin Lingurar, Dana Varga. (Romanian dialogue)

Exercising admirable restraint in its expose of ingrained racism in the Romanian educational system, absorbing docu “Our School” follows the sad yet resilient journey of three Roma children over four years as they grapple with prejudice and stereotyping. Unveiled at Tribeca before SilverDocs, where it won the Sterling Award for top nonfiction feature, even-keeled pic carries echoes of Michael Apted’s groundbreaking “Up” series and should enjoy fest, tube and ancillary enrollments.

In 2006, 30 Romanian towns were given European funds to integrate their classrooms. In one of these, the northern Transyvlanian burg of Targu Lapus, the gung-ho mayor extolls the virtues of cooperation as he has the fire department deliver water to the outlying Roma families. Though the mayor’s condescension is evident, 8-year-old Roma bundle of energy Alin Moldovan is more succinct: “You guessed it, Brainiac, I’m a gypsy.”

The Roma children — who also include the more introspective Beniamin Lingurar, 12, and coltish Dana Vargana, 16 — are dutifully loaded on to a horse-drawn cart and brought to the town’s school, even as renovations begin on the dilapidated Roma schoolhouse only steps from their encampment.

What follows is systemic prejudice: The smooth school director offers facile explanations for the newcomers’ steady isolation; the high-strung educator charged with conducting a remedial class laments her lot in life; and even the wife of the priest who employs Vargana to do housework talks down to her. A lone compassionate teacher and Alin’s football chum are practically the only two Romanians on view who reach out to the kids.

Credit helmer Mona Nicoara with having the wisdom and fortitude to let the depth of the problem reveal itself naturally, correctly anticipating viewer outrage as the children are marginalized over time. Ovidiu Marginean’s intuitive lensing favors steady and traditional framing, while gypsy punk combo Gogol Bordello’s recent “Break the Spell” over the closing credits neatly sums up this tragic societal dilemma: “You love our music, but you hate our guts.”

Our School

Docu

Production: A Sat Mic Film production, in co-production with Pipas Films, in association with Motto Pictures. Produced by Mona Nicoara. Executive producer, Julie Goldman. Co-producer, Miruna Coca-Cozma. Directed by Mona Nicoara. Co-director, Miruna Coca-Cozma.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Ovidiu Marginean; editor, Erin Casper; music, Sasha Gordon. Reviewed on DVD, Sydney, June 20, 2011. (In SilverDocs Film Festival -- competing; Tribeca Film Festival.) Running time: 93 MIN.

With: With: Alin Moldovan, Beniamin Lingurar, Dana Varga. (Romanian dialogue)

More Film

  • Cinema Audio Society 2018 Winners: 'Dunkirk,'

    'Dunkirk,' 'Game of Thrones' Win Cinema Audio Society Awards for Sound Mixing

    Exercising admirable restraint in its expose of ingrained racism in the Romanian educational system, absorbing docu “Our School” follows the sad yet resilient journey of three Roma children over four years as they grapple with prejudice and stereotyping. Unveiled at Tribeca before SilverDocs, where it won the Sterling Award for top nonfiction feature, even-keeled pic […]

  • Kazuhiro Tsuji Darkest Hour Makeup artist

    'Darkest Hour,' 'American Horror Story' Lead Make-up and Hair Stylists Guild Winners

    Exercising admirable restraint in its expose of ingrained racism in the Romanian educational system, absorbing docu “Our School” follows the sad yet resilient journey of three Roma children over four years as they grapple with prejudice and stereotyping. Unveiled at Tribeca before SilverDocs, where it won the Sterling Award for top nonfiction feature, even-keeled pic […]

  • Isle of Dogs

    The 10 Best Films of the 2018 Berlin Film Festival

    Exercising admirable restraint in its expose of ingrained racism in the Romanian educational system, absorbing docu “Our School” follows the sad yet resilient journey of three Roma children over four years as they grapple with prejudice and stereotyping. Unveiled at Tribeca before SilverDocs, where it won the Sterling Award for top nonfiction feature, even-keeled pic […]

  • Indian Actress Sridevi Kapoor Arrives For

    Legendary Bollywood Actress Sridevi Dies at 54

    Exercising admirable restraint in its expose of ingrained racism in the Romanian educational system, absorbing docu “Our School” follows the sad yet resilient journey of three Roma children over four years as they grapple with prejudice and stereotyping. Unveiled at Tribeca before SilverDocs, where it won the Sterling Award for top nonfiction feature, even-keeled pic […]

  • NMHC Impact Awards

    Aubrey Plaza, NHMC President Call Out Under-Representation of Latinos at Impact Awards

    Exercising admirable restraint in its expose of ingrained racism in the Romanian educational system, absorbing docu “Our School” follows the sad yet resilient journey of three Roma children over four years as they grapple with prejudice and stereotyping. Unveiled at Tribeca before SilverDocs, where it won the Sterling Award for top nonfiction feature, even-keeled pic […]

  • Emma Chambers'HOW DO YOU WANT ME'

    'Notting Hill' Actress Emma Chambers Dies at 53

    Exercising admirable restraint in its expose of ingrained racism in the Romanian educational system, absorbing docu “Our School” follows the sad yet resilient journey of three Roma children over four years as they grapple with prejudice and stereotyping. Unveiled at Tribeca before SilverDocs, where it won the Sterling Award for top nonfiction feature, even-keeled pic […]

  • Las herederas The Heiresses

    Berlin Double Silver Bear Winner 'The Heiresses' Sells Major Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

    Exercising admirable restraint in its expose of ingrained racism in the Romanian educational system, absorbing docu “Our School” follows the sad yet resilient journey of three Roma children over four years as they grapple with prejudice and stereotyping. Unveiled at Tribeca before SilverDocs, where it won the Sterling Award for top nonfiction feature, even-keeled pic […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content