It’s never a good day when one of the most wicked organizations on the planet is pleased by anything. But how could America’s teachers unions not have been thrilled with the news that Davis Guggenheim’s damning indictment of the devastation they have brought down upon America’s public school system and millions upon millions of children was snubbed by the Academy this morning?
Objectively, from a pure documentary filmmaking point of view, “Waiting for Superman” is a superbly crafted piece of cinematic advocacy that not only displays great humanity for its subjects but also effortlessly takes the audience through a complex argument. That is what great documentaries do and as someone who has openly praised Michael Moore’s films, unlike some, I can park my politics at the door when it comes to judging the quality of the work based on objective merits. Furthermore, “Superman” is incredibly persuasive in making its case for charter schools and against the abomination of public school teacher tenure. With compassion and an intellectual scalpel, Guggenheim finally puts to rest the liberal lie that “certain” kids can’t learn and that public schools lack funding.
“Superman” is both a Road to Damscus moment for its creator, a liberal who won the Academy-Award for directing Al Gore’s Global Warming nonsense “An Inconvenient Truth,” and a stake in the heart of the borderline racist myths perpetuated by teachers unions, the Democratic politicians beholden to them, and a media unwilling to upset that cozy narrative even as millions of impoverished inner-city kids are doomed to failure year in and year out. Going in with one set of beliefs and coming out with another, Guggenheim discovered and had the moral courage to tell the world that in schools free from the appalling manipulations of astonishingly selfish teachers unions, poor, black children can learn. Someone just has to give enough of a damn to worry about the fate of innocent children more than how much they’re being overpaid to fail.
The film’s single most persuasive element, however, is Guggenheim himself, a card carrying, bona fide lefty. As I mentioned in my review, the film is a Nixon goes to China moment. A conservative making the exact same documentary would’ve been completely ignored. These truths needed to be told by a man like Guggenheim and now I fear he’s learning another truth — the price a political apostate pays in Hollywood for straying off the liberal plantation.
To their great credit, even film critics nominated and awarded ”Waiting for Superman” with the prize for this year’s best documentary.
Always on left-wing narrative point, the Washington Post is already crowing over the film’s Academy snub, claiming “Superman” deserved to lose due to “certain inaccuracies,” the worst of which, if true, fall under the heading of dramatic license. And keep in mind, that such “inaccuracies” are only on the table at Oscar time when the Leftist narrative is at stake. Hello? An Inconvenient Truth? Michael Moore? And obviously there’s no agenda at the Washington Post. Heaven forbid.
This is a damn shame, but not at all unexpected (the film critic win was unexpected). My friend and a terrific critic in his own right, Christian Toto, took me to the VH1 Critic Awards where Guggenheim was awarded that well-deserved trophy, and out of all the famous people milling about, he was the only one I was interested in talking with, if only to shake his hand. (Well, that’s not entirely true. For different reasons I also wanted to talk with Julia Ormond, but was too frightened and so I creepily watched her from afar instead.) Unfortunately, I never caught up with Guggenheim to tell him how much I admired the film and the risks he took to tell the truth. So…
…for whatever it’s worth coming from a right-wing extremist Davis, you woz robbed.