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Teacher-student movie "Conrack" comes to the screen

The teacher-students movie has almost become a genre to itself. As entertainment it may be heart-warming and uplifting. Or, instead, the plot may lead to tragic consequences.

An old classic in the genre is 1939's "Goodbye Mr. Chips." Two more popular British films came out in the late 1960s. Sidney Poitier's "To Sir With Love" was a perfect example of the heroic type, while Maggie Smith as Miss Jean Brodie educated her Scottish girls into a very dark place.

Jon Voight brings us back to the wise and patient teacher in the 1974 film "Conrack." As in "To Sir With Love," Voight's character, future novelist Pat Conroy, works across ethnic and cultural lines to achieve his goal. Conroy, a white Southerner, goes to one of the coastal islands of South Carolina to teach Gullah children, and runs into two giant hurdles: his pupils are shy, unresponsive and barely American linguistically. The school's principal and superintendent have set notions about the children's ability--or rather inability--to learn. There are hurdles aplenty, but slowly he draws out of them what he believed was always there. His determination and the children's ultimate response make for 107 minutes of rewarding cinema.

Earlier Event: September 25
Youth Inquirers class forming
Later Event: September 28
Adult Inquirers class will organize