Beyond the Blackboard

Beyond the Blackboard

Jeff Bleckner (2011)

95min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
"Never, ever judge" is one of the messages delivered with maximum emotional effect in this inspirational teaching drama about how small things can make huge differences. Adapted from the memoir of real-life American educator Stacey Bess, it centres on a likeable turn by Emily VanCamp (star of TV's Revenge) as a 24-year-old, middle-class idealist forced to overcome her fears and prejudices when she's hired to school homeless children living in a shelter in 1980s Salt Lake City. Unsurprisingly for a TV movie, the story is predictable and simplistic, portraying the kids and their plights in a sanitised yet poignant way that provokes thought while avoiding the harshest realities. Yes, events milk all the usual genre clichés, but they're irresistibly warm and enthusiastically performed, with the well-chosen young actors proving particularly endearing.

Summary

A newly qualified teacher sets up a makeshift classroom for homeless teenagers. Initially afraid and suspicious of her students, she gradually gets to know them and becomes determined to make a difference to their difficult lives. Fact-based drama, starring Emily VanCamp, Steve Talley and Treat Williams.

Cast & Crew

Stacey Bess Emily VanCamp
Greg Bess Steve Talley
Dr Warren Treat Williams
Johnny Hernandez Julio Oscar Mechoso
Candy Nicki Aycox
Danny Liam McKanna
Maria Paola Andino
Carlos Luis Jose Lopez
Director Jeff Bleckner
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColour
Drama