American Teacher (2011)



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American Teacher is the feature-length documentary created and produced by Vanessa Roth, Nínive Calegari, Dave Eggers, and Brian McGinn. The film includes a musical score by Thao Nguyen and is narrated by Matt Damon. The film chronicles the stories of four teachers living and working in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. Their stories are told through a mixture of footage and interviews with students, families, and colleagues, as well as the teachers themselves. By following these teachers as they reach different milestones in their careers, our film tells the deeper story of the teaching profession in America today. -- (C) Official Site
Documentary , Special Interest
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Matt Damon
as Narrator
Jonathan Dearman
as Jonathan Dearman
Jamie Fidler
as Jamie Fidler
Rhena Jasey
as Rhena Jasey
Erik Benner
as Erik Benner

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Critic Reviews for American Teacher

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (6)

This heartbreaking and essential look into the lives of those who put so much into educating other people's children ought to be seen by anyone concerned about the fate of the public school system, and the nation as a whole.

Full Review… | September 30, 2011
New York Daily News
Top Critic

A heartfelt, bittersweet portrait of several teachers as they make the difficult decision of whether to stick with the profession.

Full Review… | September 29, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

As we watch the individuals in "American Teacher" struggle with the burdens the system places on them, it's hard not to feel like crying, both for them specifically and for our national culture.

Full Review… | September 29, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Featuring a tedious procession of statistics, graphs and talking heads, American Teacher undercuts the forcefulness of its arguments with its underwhelming presentation.

Full Review… | September 29, 2011
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

The film is relentlessly one-sided enough to become tiring, but it's impossible not to feel for the main characters, who all love what they do while continually being forced to question how feasible it is.

Full Review… | September 28, 2011
AV Club
Top Critic

What's made powerfully clear is that we've reached a dire point of crisis that, while largely rooted in economics, is about so much more than dollars and cents.

Full Review… | September 27, 2011
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for American Teacher

Well-meaning, but not a very accurate look at today's teachers. I'm a retired teacher and can say that the teachers in this doc. were not the ones I worked with-none had 2nd. jobs. Few of my colleagues spent much extra time or their own money in their classrooms. Also, teachers' salaries have grown significantly in recent years.

Robert Zannini
Robert Zannini

This movie is so eye-opening and powerful. It goes into the life of teachers and really exposes our society's misconceptions about the teaching profession. So many of our country's best teachers are not getting enough money, not receiving enough respect, and not able to continue without burning out.One of the most powerful quotes in the movie: "They're not asking to make hundreds of thousands of dollars. They're asking to be able to buy a house, to have a decent car, to live in a nice neighborhood, to have some comforts - to maybe take a vacation every once in a while. And when you have teachers that have to have second jobs, when you have teachers that are living at the poverty level, then I think there is something wrong with that. And as a society, we need to really change that culture. We need to flip it around to say that being a teacher is the most important job in our society."- Mark Bounds (Deputy Superintendent for Educator Quality in South Carolina), American Teacher

Suraj Sehgal
Suraj Sehgal

This documentary briefly focuses on the complexities of the public education system. Through a series of interviews, four distinctive educators (ranging across the country) discuss the 'ups and downs' in their careers while giving insight into their own personal lives in and outside the world of teaching. This film gives an interesting perspective upon the history and future of public education. Narrated by Matt Damon (whom also contributed narration to Inside Job and Running the Sahara). Given the context of this film, it's definitely worthy.

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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