New York Teens & Their Dreams Shine In ‘Brooklyn Castle’

Photos: (Brooklyn Castle)

Planning to go to the movies tonight with friends or on a hot date? I’ve got the perf movie for ya and it’s called “Brooklyn Castle.” No it’s not about princesses and princes and moats and stuff like that. It’s a fascinating look at precocious kids in New York and the state of our education. It opened Friday in New York City (and will continue to hit theaters nationwide) and it’ll touch your heart like no other.

The inspiring documentary concentrates on Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn, where 70% of the students live below the poverty line. Some kids started playing chess, and the school went to the nationals just to see how they’d do. They brought down the house! For ten years the students at I.S. 318 have been chess masters, winning again and again. In fact, in the last ten years, they’ve won more chess championships than any other school in the whole country. Checkmate!

But that doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. The trailer explains that a quarter of a million dollars has been cut from the school, which might mean an end to the students being able to travel to compete in the chess tournaments. The school president wants to restore money lost in budget cuts, and this doc is bound to get you thinking about where money should go in terms of education.

It was the winner of the Audience Award at the SXSW film festival and has been getting rave reviews from NPR, New York Times and even, Jay-Z’s Life + Times blog. Check out the trailer below, and don’t tell me you’re not moved by it, especially the personal stories of students wanting to break out of poverty and live out the American dream. This movie isn’t just about chess, it’s about rising above the odds.

+Watch “Brooklyn Castle” trailer.

 

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