Heart of Stone

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Movie Info

Before 1960 Weequahic High School (WHS) was known as one of the top schools in America. By 2000 it was one of the most violent schools in the 12th most dangerous city in the country. Heart of Stone is the true story of WHS' quest to return to its former glory.sWhen Ron Stone took over as principal in 2001, gangs ruled the school. Crime and shootings were commonplace and during his first month on the job he watched students engage in a mass brawl in every hallway. Stone knew his work was cut out for him and devised an unconventional plan to realize his vision of turning the school around. He started by working with the gangs and establishing the school as a "non-violence" zone. He then partnered with the committed alumni association -- comprised of mostly older Jewish and younger African American alums -- to raise funds for programs and college scholarships that helped transform the gang culture of the school to one of discipline and performance. At Weequahic High School, where Philip Roth immortalized his Newark, NJ as a turn of the century Camelot, we watch an unusual tale unfold where past meets present and adolescents strive to overcome adversity.The WHS experience is a model for other inner city schools to rejuvenate by reaching into their own past. Inner cities were once proud downtown districts with excellent education programs that graduated professionals who long ago moved to the suburbs. Heart of Stone shows how disparate groups can join together to give their old communities something they haven't had for generations...a future.--© Official Site


Critic Reviews for Heart of Stone

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (5)

  • Director Beth Toni Kruvant hits incredible highs and a shocking low as she explores the cultures of past and present student bodies that come together in a common cause.

    Oct 30, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Heart of Stone is a heartbreaker: a documentary about an inner-city high school that shows how hard, how necessary, and how infinitely rewarding it can be to open doors for kids who didn't know they were there.

    Oct 22, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Heart of Stone is a portrait of a dedicated man -- smart, articulate, strong and tough-minded yet warm and compassionate, willing and able to reach out and communicate with his students on an individual basis.

    Aug 14, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Two things keep Heart of Stone from being like every other documentary about a dedicated principal who tries to turn a failed urban high school around.

    Jul 17, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A captivating, poignant and inspirational documentary that finds just the right balance between entertaining the audience and provoking them intellectually.

    Jul 20, 2009 | Rating: 9.35/10 | Full Review…

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