Films about education for children in critical situations have been seen in cinema since the 1990s. For example, Zhang Yimou’s 1999 film Not One Less tells a story about a teenage girl Wei Minzhi who volunteers to teach in a one-room primary school and her relationships with the pupils. And most recently, Monsieur Lazhar, a 2011 Canadian French film about Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant hired to replace a teacher who committed suicide in her classroom in a Montréal public school, helps his students deal with their grief. Last but not least, Être et avoir, a documentary made in 2002, portrays a one-room school in rural France where the students (ranging in age from 4 to 11) are taught by a single teacher.
Similarly, the subject of the documentary--Hackney Pirates--is a charitable organization set up by three experienced teachers for children aged 9-12 who come from a disadvantaged social background, aiming to improve their literacy and creativity by one-to-one mentoring with volunteer adults.
The narrative structure and the approach to it
During the development of the narrative structure, the director are strongly inspired by Être et avoir where we follow the children to their homes and get to know how they get on with their homework and the role of the parents during the progress-maki...
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...production, the crew has managed to establish and maintain a good working relationship with one another, and there has been good communication between me and the director, the director and the DP, and the director and the editor. I really appreciate being part of the production team and our mutual efforts to make the film an engaging piece of work. It has also been a significant learning experience for me, and I’m sure I will be more confident and decisive in handling similar production issues involved in future projects. Finally, I wish we could present the film to a larger audience with permission from the parents, which I hope would in return attract more volunteers to contribute to Hackney Pirates, raise filmmakers’ interest in similar subjects related to children’s education, and eventually improve the current situation of children from disadvantaged background.
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