|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Production country:||Deutschland 2016|
|Running time:||Approx. 96 min|
|Rated:||From 0 years|
Young people who can't cope with the rules of the usual school system or who fail at the pressure to perform and the grading system often have no prospect of a proper school education. Alex, in her early 20s, is such a young person, just like Lena, who is seen as very rebellious in her village community, or Hanil, who simply could never bring himself to study properly. What they have in common with many others is that they still want to have a proper degree so that their future is not completely blocked. Luckily, there is the Berlin School for Adult Education (SFE). Here, there is no principal, no grades, and the students are involved in important decision-making processes, but they also have to handle organizational tasks. This includes paying the teachers. It's an unusual concept, but one that has been working since 1973 and has produced quite a few successful graduates.
Filmmaker Alexander Kleider accompanied some students of Berlin Rebel High School on their way to the Abitur. The result is a very interesting, but also extremely entertaining documentary. By not only introducing students and teachers, but also giving a deep insight into their everyday life, it is not only made very clear how and why the unusual school concept works. It also becomes clear why an institution like the SFE is really necessary and for some young people an important chance for a professional future. The students are not only provided with teaching material, but are also trained in social skills. They are not exposed to the usual rules and difficult competitive pressures, but are expected to learn personal responsibility as well as social behaviour in a group.
Although one may not agree with all aspects of this concept, the film makes one thing very clear: every person is different and there is no one school concept that is exactly right for all children. But since everyone should have the same right to education, it is incredibly important that schools also cater to the different needs of learners. We need to move away from the ideal of one perfect school for all. Institutions like SFE are definitely a step in the right direction.
It is very interesting to see how committed young people are to achieving a school-leaving qualification that has eluded them in the more conventional way. At the same time, it is absolutely fascinating to learn why the non-tenured teachers put up with the less than lavish salary and lack of security to teach at SFE, in some cases well into retirement. This is really about ideals and getting students on the right path to graduation. And that makes this documentary a very interesting film to talk about and discuss for a long time, but also very entertaining. For this there is a very clear: Absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp