DIRECTOR: FREDERICK WISEMAN
Wiseman’s peek into the halls, gyms, classrooms, and administrative offices of Philadelphia’s Northeast High School is much more than a day-in-the-life documentary. It’s a humorous yet withering portrayal of the myopia and deficiencies fostered by the drab institutional approach of the American school system. During these tender years, pimpled, impressionable teens are subject to a barrage of lessons that only serve to reinforce social and gender conformity. An off-the-cuff sex-ed lecture by a visiting gynecologist to a roomful of boys remains one of the most giddily shocking scenes in American movies. The glory days these ain’t.
Preserved by the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center from original camera negatives in the Zipporah Films Collection. Photos courtesy Zipporah Films. Photo courtesy Zipporah Films.
Screened March 25–31, 2016