After watching a “found footage” documentary-style movie, it’s kind of strange to watch an actual documentary. For some reason, I almost always prefer either more controversial docudramas, or really boring animal-focused features.
“Waiting for ‘Superman'” follows filmmaker Davis Guggenheim as he investigates the issue of the failing American public school system. It mixes investigative reports from inside the system with the stories of several families who are trying to get a better education for their children. The film establishes that the problem with public schools is very large and complicated, but it assures the audience that it can be solved.
The reporting of the larger-scale investigation combines well and even compliments the more personal stories of the families. It also does well not to get bogged down in any specific area of the over-arcing plot.
As with the story itself, the more serious tone brought by the interviews with the school officials and teachers is served alongside the more light-hearted air contributed by the children. Their honesty is a highlight of the film and helps to present the subject material in a warmer light.
Guggenheim’s presentation of the real struggles faced by these families to obtain better education for their children is spot on in its emotional viciousness. This was marred only by some missed opportunities during some of the interviews, where the depth of focus trick used on the background actually makes it very distracting to watch.
The animations used to display the data were neat and did well to make the numbers more relatable. The sound is nothing special, but it doesn’t have any need to be.
Everything was combined very well to give a good presentation of a complicated piece of information. The acting and overall story combined especially well to give it a very human feel.
A definite must-see for any fans of investigative documentaries or anyone wanting to learn more about the subject.
P.S.- Here’s a link for the website of the film: http://www.waitingforsuperman.com/
Also, I hope to be caught up soon!