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Davis Guggenheim is no stranger to making films that try to change the world. The man who directed An Inconvenient Truth in 2006 decided to take on the ultimate quagmire in America the public education system. Guggenheim's Waiting for "Superman," which he directed and co-wrote, last year reignited a long-smoldering debate about how best to fix the broken educational bureaucracy. The Los Angeles resident was motivated by his drives past L.A. public schools to drop off his own kids at private institutions. His documentary focuses on five subjects who didn't have the same privileges. The students live in the more hardscrabble sections of L.A., New York City and Washington, D.C., and their families view the kids' gaining entrance into a charter school as tantamount to winning the lottery. The fact that there is such a wide disparity in opportunity for American children is no surprise. But the helplessness and desperation the families experience when caught in so arbitrary a system is heartbreaking to watch. That Guggenheim nonetheless insists that we watch it is a very good thing.
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