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Communications & Media
Movie Review
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The Boys of Baraka (Movie Review Sample)

The client required to do a movie review from a list of three movies and write 5 pages. the source was already provided. source..
The Boys of Baraka Name Institution The Boys of Baraka is a film directed by Heid Ewing and Rachel Grady. The film airs the story of twenty African-American boys from Baltimore who attended the seventh and eighth grade in a boarding school located in Kenya, East Africa. The boys are at a high risk of dropping out of school if they study in Baltimore, a state with high crime rate. An estimated 60% of boys in Baltimore do not graduate high school and instead engage in crime activities in the state. 50 percent of Baltimore African-American boys goes to jail. Drug dealers rule the states of Baltimore, families disintegrated by drug addiction and a public school system characterized by uncontrollable chaos. The paper analyzes the Boys of Baraka film using John Dewey philosophy of progressive education. The main characters in the film are Devon, Richard, Montrey and Romesh, all aged 12 to 13 years. The story starts at the boy’s hometown of Baltimore, one of the most poverty-stricken towns in Baltimore. Boys living in the city have a high probability of being killed before reaching adulthood. Richard is a troubled boy due to his father’s imprisonment and his little brother’s prospects of growing up to be a big boy. Romesh is suspicious and downbeat with the idea of heading overseas and leaving his family behind. Mortrey is a mischievous boy and has earned multiple suspensions after fighting with other boys. Devon is a preacher at his local church while coping up with his mother’s drug addiction. The boys are then offered an alternative venue to pursue education. This time, they are taken to a boarding school in Kenya, in East Africa. They are part of an innovative training program that provides a better atmosphere for the boys to live as boys and also have a peaceful environment for them to pursue academics. Their families and relatives give them the support to join sixteen other boys in attending an experimental school in a rural bush in East Africa. Their parents are hopeful that the rare opportunity will give them an education lifeline instead of staying behind and getting killed. The Baraka School follows a progressive education system rather than the traditional system. The school focuses on enhancing students interests with little constraints from the teachers. The environment allows students to explore the environment freely rather than being limited to the classroom environment. The progressive system allows the students to learn through experience and also gain vital skills. Dewey (1938) describes progressive education as "one that allows excessive individualism among learners, offers growth and expression, free activity and learning through experience (pp 20) The boys start learning at Baraka boarding school, an institution located in an area poorer than the upcountry areas of Baltimore. The school has a comprehensive curriculum and a strict disciplinary program. The teacher student ratio is one to five. Therefore, the boys can receive personalized attention from the tutors. Recruiters for Baraka school tell the parents and potential students that the boy have only three choices: death, prison or graduate from high school. The Baraka school was the only probable avenue where the boys would graduate from high school. The Baraka School has a good record of offering Baltimore African-American boys a chance to pursue education. The institution was founded in 1996 by Abell Foundation and given the name Baraka”, a Swahili word, a native language in East Africa. ‘Baraka’ means ‘blessings’ and was designed to give at-risk Baltimore boys a chance to grow personally away from the troubled neighborhoods of Baltimore. The Baraka school had an excellent record of offering students a conducive environment to pursue their learning, with a record of three out of four boys graduating from high school. This shows that the recruiters were taking the students to an environment that was conducive to having good experiences that would lead to growth. According to Dewey (1938), an educator has the responsibility to evaluate where a learning experience is headed as well understand the attitudes that are conducive to continued growth (pp 39) The choice of Kenya as the best location for setting up the school is because it is cheap to run the school in Kenya. Also, the East African country will give the boys a chance to live like boys and enjoy other benefits such as swimming, mount climbing, seeing favorite wild animals and enjoy conducive environments for learning. A group of American volunteers manage the school, and the teachers are predominantly white. The schools give them another chance to pursue an education in a simulated environment away from Baltimore, where they have to spend their time indoors most of the time. They experience the socially-rich lifestyle of Africa boys where they can play with the fear of gunshots. As students start learning, they get used to the new Kenyan environment and develop a liking for the boarding school. The boy’s behavior is transformed positively and forget the crimes they were engaged in back in Baltimore. The boy’s academic performance also improves, and they develop a better character as they are being modeled to become better Africa-American citizens by the American teachers and volunteers. The curriculum of Baraka Boarding school focuses on the student and the subject matter. The curriculum helped the boys develop mentally and comprehend what they were being taught and practicing it while making the learning as important as what was being taught. Despite the active progress in the Kenyan boarding school, everything changes and the boys are forced to go to Baltimore. The terrorist attack on the American embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, lead to the shutdown of the institution. The boys are uncomfortable and unhappy with the idea of going back to Baltimore. One boy says that "All our lives gonna be bad now." The parents are also unhappy with the idea of taking the boys back to Baltimore since they were more likely to be killed or jailed while in Baltimore. On return to Baltimore, the boys show remarkable improvements in character, behavior, and academic performance. One of the boys, Devon, begins his work as a preacher while being elected as class president in Ninth grade. Mortrey also shows academic excellence when he tops in a Mathematics test in Maryland and gets admission to one of the best schools in Baltimore. Before joining Baraka school, Mortrey had behavioral problems and struggled a lot with his attitude. The Baraka school offers the students an environment when they can exercise social control. The recruiters and teachers of the school allow the students to mingle freely and play games that were played by African boys. When playing games, the individu...
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