Approaching the Elephant
With director Amanda Rose Wilder in person
Dir. Amanda Rose Wilder. 2014. 89 mins. Digital projection. It is year one for Lucy, Jiovanni, and director and founder Alexander at the Teddy McArdle Free School in Little Falls, New Jersey, where classes are voluntary and rules are created by democratic vote. Filmmaker Amanda Rose Wilder is there from the beginning, observing an indelible cast of outspoken young personalities as they form relationships, explore their surroundings, and intensely debate rules violations. When everything reaches a boiling point as the year comes to a close, the fate of the school—not to mention the hopes and ambitions of everyone involved—hangs in the balance. “A tour de force of participatory filmmaking” (Richard Brody, The New Yorker).
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