As you can tell from this website, I’m into books, and rarely watch movies. But when I do… wow. What can I say about a movie where every 10 minutes, I find myself wiping my tears away? This documentary is a real treasure, whether you know anything about chess or not. It’s the true story of a public school in Brooklyn where the kids have continued to win championship after championship in chess… despite the fact that most of them are from poverty conditions at home, immigrant parents, first generation educated, etc, etc. The battles the kids fight for their own self-esteem and to better their own conditions is totally inspirational. The battle against the continued budget cuts is even more amazing. As the principal says in the film, “If you believe in public education, if you believe in kids, then you have to fight for it.” Indeed we all do.
Since this website is also about reading, I was fascinated to watch one of the kids, who struggled with attention deficit, overcome his challenges through the practice of chess. Very often we see kids at school struggling to read, unable to focus. As the chess coach says in this documentary, talking about chess in schools, “The fact that more and more kids can’t concentrate for more than 10 minutes means maybe this is what we need… it makes it (chess) more valuable as an educational tool.”
A wonderful, uplifting movie. For more info, visit their website, Brooklyn Castle.