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The Hate U Give

Directed by George Tillman Jr.

DVD, Blu-ray, On Demand

No 2018 film does a better job at delineating white privilege, police brutality, and the transformative power of nonviolence. It does this by putting us in the shoes of Starr (the exhilarating Amandla Stenberg), who has to live in two different worlds of race/class and perform the constructed codes of each. When her close friend, Khalil (Algee Smith), is shot and killed by a white policeman during a routine traffic stop, Starr also clearly sees the privileged, unjust nature of our criminal justice system.


The Kindergarten Teacher

Directed by Sara Colangelo

Netflix

A troubling, thought-provoking film that feels out the boundaries between nurturing/obsession, art/materialism, truth/practicality. Maggie Gyllenhaal may be the only American actress who could pull off the role of Lisa Spinelli, a kindergarten teacher who discovers that one of her students (Parker Sevak) is a master poet living in an indifferent world of banal consumerism. Is it even possible to nurture a Mozart in such a world?


Eighth Grade

Directed by Bo Burnham

Amazon Prime

A film that puts you in the shoes of an 8th grade girl (Elsie Fisher), with all of the awkwardness, anxiety and bad music that entails.

– Dr. David C. Simmons
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