"Lean On Me" is an extraordinary film from the late 80's that shows the struggle of one teacher putting it all on the line to make a difference. This film is based on a true story, but as we all know some truths get inflated a bit to sell on the big screen.
Nonetheless, this movie is Top quality as they bring in Morgan Freeman to play the role of Joe Clark, a man who knows firsthand about the poor school systems most inner-city kids experience.
This movie is interesting in the fact that social, environmental and cultural beliefs were all taken into consideration when choosing the direction of the film.
"Lean On Me" is also careful to exhibit the manner in which politics influence the manner in which are children are taught. Imagine if you will, trying to teach Math or English to 20 kids with 8 books that you had to purchase with your own cash. I believe many of the issues these teachers and students face in this school are much like the educational system of today.
Now, the film isn't a bleeding heart by any means. There are funny moments and serious tones which all shape the dynamic back and foreground of film. A standout point in the film is when the teacher, Joe, confronts a child about his crack-cocaine drug use. He doesn't do the whole "Drugs are bad", "Drugs will kill" manufactured speech that you would hear from a textbook teacher. Joe goes a step further, gives the kid "Real Talk" which teaches him more than any 10 second recycled pamphlet speech ever could. There's a thin line between protecting someone and hurting them, I think Joe's methods are "Honest" which helps the kids most of all in the long run.
I believe I could sit here all day and talk about the many dynamics of this film-issues plaguing today's youths, but I won't. I'm going to let you watch the film, let you decide where to Lean.
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