Race to Nowhere, a provocative documentary that questions how our society defines success in American education, will screen for two nights only at Amherst Cinema on Sunday, Dec. 5 and Monday, Dec. 6, both at 7:30 p.m. A post-film panel discussion will take place after Sunday’s screening, moderated by UMass Journalism Program faculty member Nick McBride.

Called by critics as “one of the most important films created in recent memory,” Race to Nowhere ignites a national conversation about the pressures faced by American schoolchildren and their teachers in a system obsessed with the illusion of achievement, competition and the pressure to perform.

“I think there is tremendous pressure on all kids to get the grade, … which is creating an epidemic of unhealthy kids who are also arriving at college and at the workplace unprepared,” director Vicki Abeles said in an interview.

The films features the stories of young people across the country who have been pushed to the brink, burned-out educators who are worried that students aren’t developing the skills they need, and parents trying to do what’s best for their kids.

“The Race to Nowhere is another inconvenient truth,” the George Lucas Educational Foundation said. “It’s a wake-up call to all of us who care about children… and provides viewers with excellent, actionable suggestions of how to begin to address change locally in our schools.”

“Films such as Race to Nowhere and Waiting for Superman present controversial points of view about our education system.  They are exactly the kind of film we want to be showing because they raise critical issues and are starting points for discussion,” said Carol Johnson, Executive Director of the Amherst Cinema and Pleasant Street Theater.

Race to Nowhere will screen twice – Sunday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 6 at the same time. Seating is limited and advance purchase is recommended.  Tickets may be purchased now at the Amherst Cinema box office or online at www.amherstcinema.org

— Press release, courtesy of Amherst Cinema

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