Synopsis by Mark Deming
In much of Eastern Europe, Roma ("Gypsy" in American parlance) families have been subjected to institutional racism for generations in terms of housing, employment opportunities and education. In 2006, a group of European educational groups offered funding to thirty Romanian communities in exchange for desegregating their schools to improve opportunities for Roma youth. Filmmakers Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coca-Cozma followed three Roma students -- sharp-tongued eight-year-old Alin Moldovan, thoughtful and soft-spoken twelve-year-old Beniamin Lingurar, and free-spirited sixteen-year-old Dana Vargana -- as they looked forward to a new school and a new and more equal era. What they found was a place where both the students and the faculty looked down on them, they were shunted off into classes away from the non-Roma children, and their opportunities seemed even worse than before. The documentary Our School follows Alin, Beniamin and Dana was they strive to make a future for themselves in the face of prejudice and corruption. Our School was an official selection at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.
corruption, desegregation, education, racism, school, student, village