1973 - when I started asking questions, like, "Why are we all dressed so funny?"

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Deliver Us from "Freedom Writers"

http://content.internetvideoarchive.com/content/photos/849/035693_3.jpg Take the Lead
I went into this movie thinking it would be "pious claptrap" about the saintly teacher who selflessly gives of himself to save beleaguered inner city youth. Ugh, another Freedom Writers?, I thought. Or perhaps a film about a cranky old guy who receives a revelation from today's youth in which he ditches his ways for the "wisdom" of youngsters.   
Films of either genre make my skin crawl.

On the contrary! Although it has some "Oh, come on!" moments (alleged spontaneous dance moments that have been obviously choreographed to death, for example), Take the Lead has an amazing performance by Antonio Banderas who is willing to say (and live out the ideal), "Everyone is entitled to a little culture" (which, from his tradition is...ballroom dancing!).
Not only is "white privilege" not mocked nor scorned, but it is suggested that the ancient things just might have a role in education today. Utterly refreshing.

This film is a meditation on the evocative power of beauty, grace and tradition. Yes, you'll have to suffer from a bit of hip hop (or enjoy it immensely, as I don't).

Wow, perhaps adults do have something of value to pass on; something that does not depend on our effort to make everything "relevant" to kids. Some things, the things of the heart, are always and everywhere relevant for those with a beating heart and an open mind.
Summary: somewhat like Stand and Deliver meets Strictly Ballroom.

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