What really happens within the walls of an American high school? Famed documentarian Frederick Wiseman (Titicut Follies, Hospital) answers that question in this fascinating look inside Philadelphia’s Northeast High School, where students clash with their teachers and teachers wage their own battles against the administration. Wiseman delves into the everyday struggle some teachers face to discipline their unruly charges, as well as the prevalent student apathy observed in classrooms where students are found staring into space, languid and uninspired. In observing these everyday interactions, it is easy to see how schools succeed in transmitting social values from one generation to another.
Hailed as one of the most important and original filmmakers working today, Frederick Wiseman’s decades-long exploration of “the American institution” enthralls as a document of the times, a nostalgic reminder of what our own high school experience was like, and perhaps, most importantly, as a witness to the ways schools affect the predominant value systems within society.