It’s a wonderful breath of fresh air to cinema, even when compared to those of a quirky nature and a low budget
When a film is so clearly written, directed, and produced by women, not necessarily for women, its becomes almost unparalleled; a stark piece of evidence for the extreme under-representation of women in film. The Kindergarten Teacher wants to solely tell its story, but the nature of the tale, and the precision it plays out with, is almost unheard of across cinematic history. So with all of its brilliance, the film does maintain a particularly revolutionary feel.
Lisa (Maggie Gyllenhaal) finds respite from her primary school class in the form of a weekly poetry group. Struggling to grasp the brief each week, she never excels despite her best efforts and desperation. So when one of the children Lisa teaches dictates a magnificent poem from seemingly nowhere, she becomes obsessed with nurturing his talent and protecting him from the grave world outside.
Playing host to the most intricate of themes, there’s an immense feeling of untouched ground underneath the feet of The Kindergarten Teacher. It approaches feminism, and wider society’s view of women, as nonthreatening beings, in a completely new light. It twists what it means to be a feminist in almost unheard of ways, and offers a plot of unpredictability and fascinating ideas.
Letting it’s soft, relenting nature lay a blanket of calm over the production only adds to the ambiguity and the shock of realisation for what The Kindergarten Teacher is truly about. Rarely do film’s pose such game changing questions as Sarah Colangelo puts forward, but it’s a wonderful breath of fresh air to cinema, even when compared to those of a quirky nature and a low budget.
Rarely do features hide their messages so well, and once the realisation arrives, the brilliance of The Kindergarten Teacher becomes vividly clear. Maggie Gyllenhaal is simply perfect for the part, showing emotional turmoil in the most subtle and realistic of ways. Added into the mix of Colangelo’s screenplay and her direction, The Kindergarten Teacher becomes one of the year’s most surprising and brilliant pieces of film making, without needing to make much noise at all.
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