Katie Dellamaggiore

Editor’s note: With SXSW Audience Award winner Brooklyn Castle hitting limited release, here is a re-run of our festival review, originally published on March 15, 2012. Why do we like to watch documentaries? Most of us enjoy seeing an uplifting story, but so many of the documentaries I’ve seen at film festivals are about depressing subject matters. Yet, they usually share a common feeling of hope at the end – that things can change, tides can turn, and people can make a difference. Every good documentary sheds light on a subject that people may have zero familiarity with, but when they walk out of that theater, they’ll be aware and hopefully…hopeful. Brooklyn Castle is one of those movies. While it partially devolves into a harsh look at the current state of public education in New York City and around the country near the end, it’s a heartwarming look at the exact reason why we need to fund after-school programs and give more attention to the arts. Which yes, includes playing games. Chess, to be exact. Inspired by a 2007 New York Times article about a teenager who was skipping class to master chess, director Katie Dellamaggiore found out about I.S. 318 in New York City, and learned that they had been winning championships across the country ever since the chess group was formed in 2006. But, thanks to the current economy, they were facing budget cuts and setbacks. Armed with a camera, she followed their chess team and put together this […]

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published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


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