Davis Guggenheim’s “Waiting for Superman” grabbed all the media attention—but not an Oscar nomination—with its dramatic portrayal of a failed public school system. “Race to Nowhere” is the other education movie, the one you probably haven’t heard about because it doesn’t offer easy soundbites like “teachers are bad.” It’s the one you’d be hard-pressed to find in a theater near you—until now.
First-time director Vicki Abeles was inspired to make the film when her 12-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a stress-induced illness. The movie looks at the intense pressure being placed on adolescents by mountains of homework, a packed schedule of extracurriculars and a high-stakes test-centered culture. Rather than pointing fingers or placing blame, it calls on families, educators and policy makers to come together and reexamine the way America educates and prepares its youth for the future.