Won't Back Down (PG)


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The Independent Culture

Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as a plucky working-class single mother who recognises that the inner-city school which her dyslexic daughter attends is failing, and vows to do something about it.

Learning about new laws that allow parent-teacher associations, when they have enough popular support, to oust the incumbent unionised administration and take over the running of a school, she sets about petitioning the local community for change.

American journalists have pointed out that the company which produced the film also produces teaching materials, and has an ideological and economic interest in the increased privatisation of the US education system.

But worse than the fact that the film is transparently conservative, anti-union propaganda, is the problem that it assumes the audience is in some way educationally subnormal too, and needs everything explained in the simplest of terms.