The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Country: United States
Run Time: 55 minutes
Filmmaker Stuart Math submits a report card on a brave social experiment begun right here in Cleveland more than 35 years ago, when liberal activists used the city of Shaker Heights to reverse a pernicious naitonal trend of white flight whenever black families moved in. Special housing programs and a much-admired school system deliberately bred a cooperative, affluent suburb that looked like America - 65% white, 30% black. Then came the bombshell. In 1997 the Shaker Heights High student newspaper ran a front page bluntly detailing another statistic: 80% of black students were receiving below-average or failing grades. After the uproar and accusations had died down, Math, himself a former Clevelander, recorded the discourse on all sides of a racial divide few had acknowledged until then. Black-white separatism still existed, in school lunchrooms, athletics and, most ominous of all, academic excellence. Why? Were the hard-won prizes of the civil rights movement lost by its children? There are no easy solutions or facile fingers of blame in SHAKER HEIGHTS, but the thought-provoking documentary will stir audiences (everywhere) to ask the right questions.
The Struggle for Integration Film Project
32 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003
tel: (212) 358 1020
fax: (212) 358 0662