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Homeroom

Where to Watch Homeroom

2021

Homeroom is a documentary-style film that provides an intimate look into the 2020 graduation year for a group of Oakland High School students. Directed by Peter Nicks, the film provides viewers with an insight into the lives of youth grappling with complex socio-political issues in a year that transformed the world. The film premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim, earning a spot among the festival’s U.S. Documentary Competition.

The film takes us on a journey through a school year at Oakland High School, California, primarily focusing on the graduating Class of 2020. The socioeconomic climate of Oakland is palpable from scene one, as we are introduced to a world where essential workers like grocery store clerks cannot afford to stay home, and BLM protests are a way of life. The director doesn’t shy away from presenting the audience with the footage of the protests that rocked the United States in 2020, and the student’s reaction to the events that shaped their lives can be seen throughout the movie.

The main protagonist in the movie is Denilson Garibo, student body President, and a dedicated young man. Denilson represents the students of Oakland high and is passionate about achieving equity in education. He is overcoming fierce opposition as he pushes for positive changes within the school district, including reallocating police funds to their school’s mental health resources. As a public figure, he has his detractors, but he bears them with grace and dignity, emerging as a beacon of hope for his peers.

The other students featured in the movie are not as vocal as Denilson, but their stories are no less vital. They are the everyday heroes, navigating complex social structures, familial pressures, and educational environments that are often ill-fitting. We see the students wrestling with questions about their individual identity, unsure of how they will fit into the world as they approach graduation. We follow along as they make plans for their future, apply to colleges and attend interviews, unsure of what to expect.

The film provides viewers with a fascinating insight into a high school class during an unprecedented year, and it doesn’t shy away from presenting the uncomfortable truth about inequality and privilege. The film presents us with the reality of a high school in America where access to education and opportunity is not necessarily the same for all. Highlighting that students of color, coming from low-income families, and lacking the social capital to navigate systems of power face a more significant challenge.

However, there are moments of hope woven throughout the film. The relationship between the district’s Superintendent, Kyla Johnson-Trammell, and Denilson Garibo is a case in point. We see two people from different walks of life, with fundamentally different perspectives, come together to bridge the gap and challenge systemic barriers. Similarly, the students and teachers begin collaborating on a mural project, and this shared commitment to creating something beautiful and important becomes an anchor in their lives.

The film’s final act delivers a powerful punch, capturing the essence of the 2020 school year perfectly. In an era of remote learning, social distancing, and virtual graduations, the film’s final scenes remind us of the importance of human connection and of our shared humanity. We see the students come together in a socially distanced celebration of their accomplishments, and as they toss their caps, we feel the hope and resilience emanating from their souls.

The movie’s cinematography is bold and vibrant, capturing the diverse faces and cultures that make up the Oakland High School community. Peter Nicks captures the student's unique personalities, struggles, and triumphs with skill and sensitivity, highlighting the artistry and vulnerability that are present in every frame.

In conclusion, Homeroom is a powerful documentary that provides a window into the challenges facing students and educators in America today. While the film’s focus is on Oakland High School, the issues it raises are relevant to all schools in America that deal with issues of inequality, privilege, and access to opportunities. The film provides a message of hope, reminding us that despite life’s difficulties, and even as we confront the pandemic and the social, economic, and political unrest that continues to bedevil our world, we humans are resilient, resourceful, and capable of coming together to create a brighter future.

Homeroom is a Documentary movie released in 2021. It has a runtime of 90 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.7. It also holds a MetaScore of 68.

How to Watch Homeroom

Where can I stream Homeroom movie online? Homeroom is available to watch and stream at Hulu Plus.

5.7/10
68/100
Director
Peter Nicks
Stars
Denilson Garibo, Libby Schaaf
Homeroom is available on .