An amazing billion dollar true crime closing a school near you. 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.
8/10, Film Threat call schools “CORRUPT” six times. A film 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 no checks or balances, and pervasive corruption at the top”.
Coe and Gilger become the parents in in history to stop a school closing. Coe’s star’s a MONSTER, the trillion-dollar education industry which strips kids of their rights, produces propaganda, while employees extract ever higher taxes.
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.
Animation visualizes a financial underworld, dark as the taverns in Lang’s, M, or the shadowy back alley’s of Ford’s, THE INFORMANT, the ratty little holes of FORCE OF EVIL. The explosive train motif reflects the locomotives of industry, grinding inexorably, remorselessly, over our children.
Noir is always a low budget affair, under lit, shot at night on the cheap. So are the board presentations. For years the board recorded nothing, taped nothing, kept no public records. I amassed the largest archive of public meetings of a single public school. We got a fantastic student poll. Time after time we achieved public surveys. With the cinematic apparatus we exposed the unshowable, administrative criminality. Years of meetings would have vanished — without record of the public narrative, giving voice to the voiceless.
I recorded “the public narrative” of 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. 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, civics uncivil, upward mobility spiraling downward. School closings are legal, militarized school executions. Consolidation is a spiritual crime: kill poor kids’ schools to turn a quick fifty mil.
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.