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Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Orleans Public School Students: Left Behind

New Orleans Public Schools have a drop out rate of over 70%.

Nearly 70% of the state's inmates lack high school diplomas.

New Orleans has the highest incarceration rate in the industrialized world.

After reading the cold facts above, you can imagine in which direction the film Left Behind: The Story of New Orleans Public Schools will go. Left Behind is a 90-minute documentary that tells the story of three African-American high school seniors as they navigate through their final year of high school in New Orleans, one of the poorest cities in the state, Louisiana -- a state ranked as the poorest in America -- one of the most violent countries in the industrialized world.

From the film:

"In some bushes of Africa, when they greet you, they don't ask you how you're doing, they say, "How are the children?" because they know if the children are OK, then they know you must be OK also." (Speaker: Ray Nagin, New Orleans Mayor)

Here's what a few people are saying about the film:

“A powerful and important look at politics at the local level.”

-- Oliver Stone, Director (JFK, Platoon)

“You've embraced chaos . . . the true human experience . . . and come out with a terrific human story.”

-- Michael Radford, Director (Il Postino, The Merchant of Venice)

“After covering the New Orleans Parish Board for 20 years, I thought I knew everything. And this documentary showed me a whole bunch I didn’t have clue on. So I, for one, thank you . . . . Because, I guarantee, when you watch the documentary, these kids will break your heart.”

--Garland Robinette, WWL-AM radio, New Orleans

”Ya’ll got some balls, man, that’s all I'ma say. Ya’ll got balls. Much Respect.

-- New Orleans Public School student, McDonough High School

Left Behind was directed by Vincent Morelli and will be screened:

February 26, 2009: Freeman Auditorium, Woldenberg Art Center at Tulane University in New Orleans, La. at 6 p.m. Free admission.

February 27, 2009: Studio 620, 620 First Avenue, South in St. Petersburg, Fla. Doors open at 7:30pm, film starts at 8:00pm. For more information, call 727-895-6620. Free admission.

March 6, 2009: Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Time and location TBA. Free Admission

Take a peek at this profound documentary:

Visit Left Behind:The Story of New Orleans Public Schools to learn more about the film.

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