School Life (2016)

3.8 of 5 from 47 ratings
1h 39min Not released
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Husband and wife filmmaking pair Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane spent more than a couple of years capturing life inside a rural Irish boarding school named Headfort, an imposing if slightly crumbling grey manor house surrounded by lush fields. In particular they focus on veteran teachers Amanda and John Leyden, who live nearby in a small cottage. Eccentrics by any measure, this endearingly scruffy pair of chain smoking country teachers display an uncommon composure among the cackle of children, as they supervise play time, oversee the dorms, and John in particular mentors members of the school's rock band.
Footage of them attempting a version of The Undertones punk hit 'Teenage Kicks' is laugh out-loud funny. But their conversations about the children reveal a great intelligence, and an insight into why great teaching matters. This is a tender, astutely observed verite study of life in a benign institution, one that embraces diversity and fairness while never shirking from or being apologetic of the mission of shaping young lives, that sits in the tradition of the esteemed documentarian Frederick Weisman.
John Leydon, Amanda Leydon
Neasa Ní Chianáin, David Rane
Angelo Orlando, Montse Portabella, David Rane, Efthymia Zymvragaki
Etienne Essery, Neasa Ní Chianáin
In Loco Parentis
Documentary, Special Interest
Ireland, Documentary, Special Interest
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
99 minutes

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