The Hobart Shakespeareans - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hobart Shakespeareans Reviews

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July 31, 2011
If you care about inspiring kids, you need to see this documentary. We can't clone Rafe Esquith, but we sure can learn a few lessons from him.
December 16, 2010
How do you get kids hooked on education? Just one way is to teach them how to appreciate Shakespeare, and teach it the right way. The Hobart Shakespeareans is a documentary that can roughly fit into the category of inspirational tales of a teacher inspiring his students, but the methods that Rafe Esquith uses are something in themselves. While he's just one guy, the impact he's made on the lives of underprivileged kids in his classroom is undeniable. It's not the final answer to educations' many problems, but it does prove the point that some teachers ARE worth paying proper salaries to, and supporting them properly. Imagine what schools would be like with a dozen Rafe Esquiths in all subjects, paid a living wage? Well, you might wonder after seeing this excellent film.

The documentary follows Rafe Esquith as he takes a group of kids that are economically challenged, or are immigrants that would be destined for failure in many schools, and he turns them into - well, you have to see it. This isn't a slick, glossy documentary, but a behavioral essay on film.

Esquith sets the bar high by teaching the kids and getting them to produce the plays of Shakespeare as both a teaching, teamwork, and learning experience. He's simply an energetic guy that loves his subject, and obviously loves teaching. His message isn't revolutionary: You can make a difference, and that being nice, working hard and doing your best works. He really spends a lot of time with these kids, and lets them see another world beyond the neighborhoods they come from.

He's also teaching the right way, getting the kids to not just read things, but experience them. The clips of the performances don't do it justice, or show the amount of work that they put into these shows. The rich kids I know that go to theater camps are positively lazy by comparison. His success attracted the attention of some major stage and screen actors that give cameos in the film.

It's an inspirational story, well worth watching, wether you're a teacher, a parent, or a student.
February 26, 2010
highly rated docu about a highly motivated teacher & his students, not to be missed for those who value education especially for those who many would pass up!
½ December 1, 2009
wow....if only to fill our classrooms with teachers like this.
½ September 27, 2009
I'm a sucker for gifted teachers, and it's apparent that Esquith is one of the best.
July 22, 2009
It was great being able to put a face to the author who wrote, "Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire." It recapped a few major points from the book, but the documentary gave a great visual representation of the classroom.
February 24, 2009
So inspiring! A must-see for all teachers or those who wish to become one!
February 12, 2009
Immensely inspiring. Can you name all 37 of Shakespeare's plays? These elementary school kids can.
August 12, 2008
Inspiring. I recommend to any teacher wishing to instill a love for reading in their students.
½ July 16, 2008
At first, the cynic in me was a bit put off by Esquith's unbridled optimism and Mr Rogers demeanor, but anyone whose teaching of Huckleberry Finn can move ten-year-olds to tears of empathy, rather than tears of boredom, is clearly doing something very right.

As far as the film's treatment of the subject itself, there are some areas where I would have liked to have seen more detail--reflections and opinions from other Hobart staff, from former students, and the like, for example--but overall an inspiring, albeit slightly underdeveloped, documentary.
May 22, 2008
Inspiring. This program gives hope to anyone who wishes to use their talents, whatever they may be, to make a difference in the world.
December 29, 2007
if you are in need of inspiration, see this documentary.
December 19, 2007
This man is something of an overachiever as a teacher perhaps, but his results do inspire hope for the future of education in America. It's very uplifting to watch 5th graders "getting' Shakespeare (and Huck Finn).
December 13, 2007
Really sweet and hopeful.
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