…Meets The HUNGER GAMES.
Won’t Back Down, the new “Parent Trigger” reform movie starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, is packed with spirit and emotion and good acting, but something is missing. Well, the facts, for one, but this is Hollywood and we’re all used to movie-land playing fast and loose with “true events”. What’s missing is a big chunk of transparency. Something dark and backroom is not-being-said about this film, which lends a sinister Hunger Games air of propaganda to every hoo-rah Walmart-backed preview and cinema premiere.
The movie, for all of its feel-good parent empowerment, was funded by conservative legislative and corporate groups who are hopeful about making a fortune off of privatizing public education. By demonizing teachers, the financiers hoped to pull smoke-and-mirrors over their own modus operandi: get cranky citizens pointed angrily in the wrong direction, and maybe no one will notice when big business makes a play to cash in on their kids.
So who are these hungering Capitol Gamemakers, er – ‘Education Reformers’?
Won’t Back Down was produced by Rupert Murdoch and funded by Walden Media, a company owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz – an ultra-conservative businessman described as “a right wing leader”. Mr. Anschutz is a proponent of school “choice”, however his choices are less about parent choice and helping students, and much more about his corporation choosing to build a for-profit empire out of public tax dollars.
The creepiest piece of this cheerful, take-no-prisoners film? Won’t Back Down is the animated result of a carefully orchestrated game of propaganda for public consumption. It is the culmination of school-privatization model legislation, written and promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC has been in the news lately, for losing massive corporate support as their extreme agenda and unethical legislation come to light.
Seriously: Hollywood mind control? Salivating corporate moguls? Egregious bill-writers? Sometimes real life just feels a lot like…a bad movie.
Won’t Back Down isn’t bad – just terrifically misguided. In The Hunger Games, the “tributes” fought each other for survival as the unseen Gamemakers made up rules and pulled invisible strings. As parents, taxpayers and educators, we don’t have to be played; we can choose to educate ourselves about Parent Trigger laws and School Reform, and we can choose to collaborate on solutions versus hand over our publicly funded system of education to a gleeful Big Business.
Public Schools are still in the Game.
from Jean MacLeod, Communications/Oakland Schools