The year 2018. Surrounded by a team of young filmmakers, among which Bing Liu (Minding The Gap), seasoned director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail) goes deep into one of the most progressive and diverse public high schools in Oak Park, near Chicago. Through the direct testimonies of students and teachers, James delves into racial inequalities and the cultural deficiency from which the North American education system is still suffering nowadays.
Social documentarian with an inquisitive eye, James has shown, project after project, his interest in taking apart the systems that cement American society and exposing their dirty laundry. The premise of America To Me is to show without prejudices the everyday life of a group of white and non-white people who share this educational environment. However, conclusions about culture, gender, the perception of differences and the dangers lurking after high school graduation are also drawn from their conversations, conversations that are not held during teacher meetings…
America To Me is a symbolic radiography revealing all the experiences that are part of the life of non-white students in a school system “designed by and for white people”, to quote one of its protagonists. An insightful documentary that is exploring the gray zones of that particular high school institution with an intimate and truly admirable approach. It is premiering in Spain at this year’s edition of Americana.
Runtime: 600 min
Direction: Steve James, Bing Liu, Rebecca Parrish, Kevin Shaw
Cinematography: Steve James, Bing Liu, Rebecca Parrish, Kevin Shaw