Like Stars on Earth
A playful and touching movie from India about Ishaan, a ten year old boy with a learning disorder who has nobody to understand him. He is left in an international school by his family, who believes he misbehaves on purpose to embarrass them, and that‘s when he meets a new teacher who suddenly brings a new light into his life. The movie manages to combine both Ishaan‘s reality and his inner world, and does so splendidly.
Hilary Swank is a teacher at a high school where racism and violence are rampant. The movie was based on the bestselling non-fiction book The Freedom Writer’s Diary by Erin Gruwell and Freedom Writers. Her personal strength in the face of prejudice brings her to the brilliant idea of making her students write about their stories. Through their stories and through listening to others they discover the power of tolerance and regain their lives.
Mr. Holland’s Opus
Glenn Holland(Richard Dreyfuss) is a high school music teacher, who is also an ambitious composer. He takes a job teaching only to support his family, without any special interest in it. Expecting teaching to be an easy job, he puts little effort into it. Then, through his very below-average students, he discovers a newly gained desire to teach them to like music, even if the means are not in accordance with the school syllabus. Both sides suddenly realise the power of will and motivation that can change their lives.
To Sir, with Love
Sidney Poitier is another young teacher with ideals who lands in a class of ill-mannered youngsters in the final year of high-school. They are very confident that they can destroy their new teacher and send him back where he came from. Instead of that he finds a way to communicate with them and is ready to prepare them for real life situations. And they start liking him and the new world of knowledge they have been ignoring for years.
The Great Debaters
Wiley College in Texas, in the thirties, is the setting for the last movie, where professor Melvin Toslon (Denzel Washington) leads a debate session with his students. The achievements of the Wiley College debate team eventually lead to an invitation to the national debate championship at Harvard University. The topics are very controversial for the four-member team and are to be broadcast on nationwide radio.