USA, 2009, 60 minutes
Sun, Apr 26 / 3:15 / Kabuki / SPEA26K
Sat, May 2 / 3:30 / Kabuki / SPEA02K
Thu, May 7 / 2:30 / Kabuki / SPEA07K
The heated debate over bilingual education usually takes place in courtrooms, at academic conferences and in editorial missives. At its most vitriolic the “English only” camp skews toward xenophobia and racism, while the opposition at times sounds utopian themes of American global economic resurgence with the aid of multilingual classrooms. Often neglected in this discourse is the firsthand experience of students, an oversight that veteran documentarians Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider beautifully rectify with their latest effort. Closely following four very different local public-schoolers through an academic year, they draw on subtle nuances of the kids’ stories to illustrate the complex shades and permutations of bilingual schooling. Two children are placed in immersion programs to retain their native tongues while learning English, and the other two are in the reverse situation. Their parents list both familiar and surprising reasons for enrolling their children, but each remains a strong proponent of the programs despite criticism from extended family, friends and a loud chorus of English-only activists. Even while dismissing common barbs, the families must confront unique challenges both humorous and serious. With San Francisco becoming the first city to mandate access to bilingual opportunities for all public schoolchildren, this thought-provoking document could hardly be timelier.
A Day Late in Oakland
On the morning after reporter Chauncey Bailey’s murder in 2007, a sordid tale of corruption and abuse stemming from Oakland’s once-mighty Your Black Muslim Bakery unraveled in the press. That same day, a police raid in the works for months stormed the business and found the murder weapon. Recommended for ages 14 and up. (Zachary Stauffer, USA 2008, 27 min)
In English, Mandarin, Spanish and Cantonese with English subtitles. Presented in association with Active Voice and the San Francisco Unified School District. GGA Documentary Feature Contender. World Premiere. Additional family matinee screening Saturday, May 2, 11:45 am.
A Day Late in Oakland is presented in association with the Center for Investigative Reporting.
RELATED CHRONICLE CHAT SPEAKING IN TOUNGUES