Sylvia Barrett is a rookie teacher with a can-do attitude at New York's inner city Calvin Coolidge High. Crowded classes, broken windows, lack of chalk and books are a few of the problems facing Sylvia, yet she carries on - even as a promising student drops out, another sleeps through class, a girl with a crush on a male teacher gets suicidal, and a bright but troublesome student misunderstands Sylvia's reaching out.
The Playground -- An 8-year-old has her first encounter with adult fear and prejudice when she tries to befriend another little girl who has HIV. Originally broadcast on Showtime Networks Inc. and introduced by Alec Baldwin.
The trailer for Playground which will play at TIFF 2009.
Sexual exploitation of children is a problem that we tend to relegate to back-alley brothels in developing countries, the province of a particularly inhuman, and invariably foreign, criminal element. Such is the initial premise of Libby Spears sensitive investigation into the topic. But she quickly concludes that very little thrives on this planet without American capital, and the commercial child sex industry is certainly thriving. Spears intelligently traces the epidemic to its disparate, and decidedly domestic, roots among them the way children are educated about sex, and the problem of raising awareness about a crime that inherently cannot be shown. Her cultural observations are couched in an ongoing mystery story: the search for Michelle, an American girl lost to the underbelly of childhood sexual exploitation who has yet to resurface a decade later.
Executive produced by George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Steven Soderbergh, and punctuated with poignant animation by Japanese pop artist Yoshitomo Nara, Playground illuminates a sinister industry of unrecognized pervasiveness. Spears has crafted a comprehensive revelation of an unknown epidemic, essential viewing for any parent or engaged citizen.
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A young, energetic and idealist teacher starts her first semester in a large metropolitan high school, rudely awakened to the differences between ideals and reality by the students and the school's methods. Her spirit almost broken, she receives assistance from an unexpected source that helps her win a victory. Starring Oscar winner Sandy Dennis ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?").
Jack Lemmon and Anne Bancroft are a married couple who must face the trivial and relentless vexations of New York life when the husband loses not just his job, but also his confidence.
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