The New Public

Film Info
Director:Jylllian Gunther
Film Category:Poilitics/Social Justice
Running Time:87
Year of Release:2012
Premiere:California Premiere


Filmed over four years, The New Public follows the journey of students, parents and educators in a Bed-Stuy (Brooklyn, NY) start-up public school. Former DJ, basketball point guard, and educator turned first-time principal, James O’Brien founded the Brooklyn Community Arts and Media Public High School, where 1/3 of residents live below the poverty line and the graduation rate is 40%.

The faculty’s enthusiasm is infectious and enticing: strong support for the individual student, a rigorous academic curriculum and unconventional arts electives taught by local artists. From the first day of school, the buzz from the student body (a single class of 104 freshman) is that this is a dream come true. But as the months go by, conflicts arise when “the honeymoon is over.”

Through the prism of this brand-new school, we witness similar complexities faced by urban public schools and communities across the USA. (JMG)

Co-Presented with Parents for Public Schools, San Francisco.