OUR SCHOOL (SCOALA NOASTRA) documentary USA / Schweiz / Rumanien, 2011 DVD, 94 Min. (OmeU) by Mona Nicoara, Miruana Coca-Cozma followedby a discussion
6. December 2011 Topkino 6.00 p.m. / Großer Saal
OUR SCHOOL follows three Roma (commonly known as "Gypsy") children in a rural Transylvanian village who are among the first participants in an initiative to integrate the ethnically segregated Romanian schools. In 2006, the three children, Alin, Benjamin, and Dana set out from their dead-end segregated school for the city, optimistic for education and new friendships with Romanians. The children!s hopes and innocent optimism quickly sour as they meet with low expectations and further isolation. Shot over four years, this tender vérité portrait of rural village life and its rhythms fosters an intimacy in the children's profound reality and admiration for their indomitable spirit, which is punctuated by shocking instances of prejudice and ignorance. Their story touches on issues ranging from institutionalized racism, public education, and the intractability of poverty, culminating in an outrageous finale that cements the Roma children's struggle in the annals of egregious human rights violations. OUR SCHOOL is an absorbing, infuriating, and ultimately bittersweet story of tradition and progress.