“We’re forced to handle the challenges of ESL. Different cultural traditions, everything they enter the classroom with, serious family dysfunctions. Basically our schools, New York city schools, are one big experiment, one big laboratory in this exercise we call the American Experience. And we as teachers aren’t equipped to deal with the task at hand. We’re not, that’s the sad truth. So, after lunch, I’ll introduce some exercises designed to demonstrate what we all share, teachers and students. Because our research shows that building this sort of common ground, in the beginning of the year, in the first few weeks, is key to classroom management. And more importantly, academic success. ” – Teacher
Number of Times Seen – 1 (4 May 2020)
Brief Synopsis – A devout Muslim woman and a devoutly religious Jewish woman become close friends while teaching together where they learn that their religions aren’t as diverse as they had originally thought.
My Take on it – This is a film that I came across by accident and being a religious Jew myself, was drawn in to the story based on the unique premise.
The film takes a very interesting idea and is able to expand on things in a realistic way.
The choice to bring together two women from very different cultures and find a way to show the various connections within their lives, religions and cultures is quite impressive.
The choice to use a largely unrecognizable cast helps make things come across much more realistically throughout and that enhances the belief that these actors are truly the characters they are portraying.
The friendship that is created between these characters seems real and it was nice to see how they look for the things they have in common as this unexpected friendship grows between them.
On a personal level, I cant really say that I know enough about Muslim culture, but when looking at the Jewish culture aspects of this story, I can attest that they get a lot of it right (despite a few missteps along the way) and overall, it comes across in a very convincing way.
Bottom Line – Intriguing premise that works quite well. The way that the film is able to bring together two seemingly different characters and show connections between their lives and their religions is very impressive. The cast is pretty unrecognizable, but that adds to the realism of things because we can really believe that these characters are the people they are portraying. On a personal level, I can say that although I am pretty unfamiliar with the Muslim side of the story, I can still attest that the Jewish side is done very convincingly because of the way that they show it all. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film is loosely based on the experiences of Executive Producer Yuta Silverman, an Orthodox Jew who befriended a Pakistani Muslim woman through the public schools in Brooklyn. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)
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