Loving parents trapped in a financial-noir of tax-profiteers, political deception and corporate retaliation. A Michael Moore style exposé by Emmy winning artist, Wayne Coe.
“Gives voice to the voiceless”, Film Threat, 8/10. Twice compared to THE IRISHMAN, “A train track (carrying various deadly fuels and chemicals) circles the three schools with a single two-lane road that provides access to school for the parents and students every morning and afternoon. A potentially deadly nightmarish situation, but that’s not the problem. The problem? Money and power with virtually no checks or balances. Complicated and Pervasive corruption at the top”.
Coe and Gilger are the first parents in the nation to stop a school closing. Coe’s film star’s a monster: the quasi-private trillion-dollar education industry. This industry strips kids of their unalienable rights, manipulates the public opinion and uses police to enforce taxation. Grassroots journalism exposes teachers union protected economic systems that abridge students civil rights.
Have American schools gone the way of Congress, the Executive branch and courts, where money runs the elections, and representatives can’t even pretend to represent the public? Parents won’t back down. Dive into the downy billion-dollar undeclared profits from schools no longer schooling and employees no longer employed.
WE HAVE YOUR KIDS is financial Noir procedural. The plot is vigilante justice, Lang’s THE BIG HEAT, enraged parents go after the thugs who endanger their kids. Into their lair, the school, where plans are brewing to shutter the sacred, acclaimed school. Noir themes of manipulation, lies, sadism, power, greed, corruption and violence; the lubricants of despair, demonstrative of social decay.
The film features detective work, political science investigations, uncovering reporting on robbery and tax looting. No dow-eyed kids, dewey-eyed parents, preaching pedagogues and upstanding politicians among the gangster capitalists of education.
Empty schools are the landscape of despair. THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, bleak, emotionally vacant, social wastelands. The board’s exposed, tawdry library/board room is dehumanizing by intent; it’s an environment where cats devour mice and no one can hear your scream. Like Wells’s THE TRIAL, the Board of Education is a mockery of justice, deception not democracy. If questioned the facade shatters; they deny, heckle, insult, defame and threaten the public. Animation helps light the masters of mankind, light the apparatus of oppression.
Animation portrays this crime underworld, like taverns in Lang’s, M, the back alley’s of THE INFORMANT, sweaty rat rooms of FORCE OF EVIL. The explosive train motif reflects the locomotives of industry, monstrous capital grinding inexorably, remorselessly, over children's lives. Noir is always a low budget affair, under lit, shot at night on the cheap. So to the board meetings. My feature was never to have been, for years the board recorded nothing, taped nothing, offered nothing up from FOIL. I amassed the largest archive of public meetings of a single public school, I brought the cinematic apparatus inside to show the unshowable, public opinion. Fifty two-hour meetings would have gone — without any public record of the money, of the public.
I set out to record, “the public narrative” of school a school closing: an experience written out of our American history by the school's $100,000 Communication Director and their $250,000 superintendents, district superintendents and unionized school boards. Newspapers ceased printing my articles the second they realized I opposed the state superintendent. The school got 30 column inches of free front page propaganda bi-weekly while any community truth experienced at school was blacked out.
Noir is social critique reflecting portraying civics becoming crime and upward mobility a desperate spiral into poverty. School closings are legal, militarily enforced, school executions. WE HAVE YOUR KIDS central story is a spiritual crime: the killing of poor kids education made profitable.