Approaching the Elephant

2014, Documentary, 1h 29m

10 Reviews 50+ Ratings

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Movie Info

The inaugural year of the Teddy McArdle Free School, where all classes are voluntary and rules are voted on by adults and children.

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Critic Reviews for Approaching the Elephant

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (10)

  • There's still something exhilarating about the school's experiment and the children's ability to apply democratic principles without clobbering one another (much).

    February 19, 2015 | Full Review…
  • It's a visceral, experiential, and absorbing viewing experience, not an educational issue doc.

    February 19, 2015 | Full Review…
  • A portrait of the sheer difficulty in establishing a democratic organization, especially when its prospective practitioners are between 5 and 12 years old.

    February 19, 2015 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • Though Approaching The Elephant is speckled with subtle commentary, much of it comic, the film's tone is one of sympathetic observation.

    February 18, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The film's 90 minutes are a disorienting cyclone of destructive incidents and propulsive energy.

    February 17, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Nuanced and passionate ...

    February 16, 2015 | Full Review…
  • There's still something exhilarating about the school's experiment and the children's ability to apply democratic principles without clobbering one another (much).

    February 19, 2015 | Full Review…
  • It's a visceral, experiential, and absorbing viewing experience, not an educational issue doc.

    February 19, 2015 | Full Review…
  • A portrait of the sheer difficulty in establishing a democratic organization, especially when its prospective practitioners are between 5 and 12 years old.

    February 19, 2015 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • Though Approaching The Elephant is speckled with subtle commentary, much of it comic, the film's tone is one of sympathetic observation.

    February 18, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Wilder's film is a remarkable document of a utopian experiment that shows great restraint in withholding judgment on its outcomes.

    March 21, 2016 | Rating: Recommended | Full Review…
  • Approaching the Elephant is at once a cautionary tale and frequently thought-provoking insight into an uncommon form of education.

    September 24, 2015 | Full Review…

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