Our School

Dir. Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coca-Cozma

Status: COMPLETED
2005

How did we help:
  • Development
  • Production
  • Outreach
  • Good Pitch

Director Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coca-Cozma
Completed 2005


Website

SYNOPSIS

Three Roma (“Gypsy”) children from a small Transylvanian town participate in a project to desegregate the local school, struggling against indifference, tradition and bigotry with humor, optimism and sass. OUR SCHOOL is a captivating, suprisingly funny, and ultimately infuriating story about hope and race.

Long synopsis

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, 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.

Outreach Work Supported

Screenings and debates to enable conversation around effective Roma integration strategies.


What people
have said

Exercising admirable restraint in its expose of ingrained racism in the Romanian educational system, absorbing docu Our School follows the sad yet resilient journey of three Roma children over four years as they grapple with prejudice and stereotyping.

Variety

Our School does much to establish how that Roma "environment" is reinforced from the outside.

Village Voice
Watch the
trailer here

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