Homeroom review – triumphant and remarkable Class Dismissed.

August 11, 2021
M.N. Miller 0
Film Reviews, Hulu
4

Summary

Peter Nicks’ documentary is nothing short of triumphant.

4

Summary

Peter Nicks’ documentary is nothing short of triumphant.

Hulu documentary Homeroom will be released on the streaming service on August 13, 2021. 

Peter Nicks, the director of Hulu’s documentary Homeroom, advocates capturing movements of social change based in Oakland, California. This area of the country has a long and storied history with deep roots in social justice. The area gave birth to the Black Panthers, a group that was deemed militant. However, in reality, it was created to help police African American working-class neighborhoods from police brutality. Oakland is just a hotbed of what was to come in this country.

Oakland sets the standard for not predicting the future but bringing issues of public finding, gentrification, and racial and socioeconomic disparity to the forefront. Nicks’ Homeroom seems to justify that thought. His documentary film documents student leaders who began to initiate a defund the Oakland School system’s police force measure well before the pandemic and events of 2020.

Hulu’s Homeroom captures a remarkable group of civic-minded youth with its cinéma vérité style. They passionately advocate for changes to the city’s police funding in their school system. Their agenda drives them to succeed by the sincere desire for society to reach its full potential. Denilson Garibo and Libby Schaaf head the student body’s fight to eliminate the police that roams those student hallways.

Their measure is turned down, of course, being pre-pandemic. Schaaf, a young African American woman, shakes her head and takes it personally. A product of youth. Garibo seems stoic and quiet, but when he speaks, he delivers powerful words, even bordering on arrogance. This young man announced that his family is undocumented. The sight of police in his schools will bring dangerous consequences to his family — like the risk of deportation.

What’s remarkable about Homeroom is the resolve of these students. Instead of conceding to a system of preconceived limitations, they refuse to acknowledge the series of walls and ceilings that have asked them to sit boxed in. Even during the pandemic, that their determination has never been derailed is a remarkable example of resiliency. This is not just fighting social justice under Covid-19. Still, the experience of a cultural trauma (police brutality, racial and economic disparity) that has gone on for generations has made these students immune to setbacks.

Peter Nicks’ documentary is nothing short of triumphant. A wide-eyed look inside advocacy at its most pure. Even if you disagree with the defunding of the police movement (this is a “reimagining” of using funds to reduce crime not by policing, but using mental health, social services, and community-based initiatives), what these students did is nothing short of remarkable. Their fight for social change now can never be taken away from them.

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