Our School

Miruna Coca-Cozma, Mona Nicoara
Romania, Switzerland, USA 2011 | 94 Min. | OmeU
Q&A with: Mona Nicoara

In 2006, the Roman­ian town of Târgu Lăpuş received fund­ing from the Euro­pean Union to intro­duce inte­grat­ed (deseg­re­gat­ed) school­ing, in other words to found a joint school for Roma and Roman­ian chil­dren. (…) When the project was over, the Roma chil­dren found them­selves back where they had start­ed – out­side. The two Roman­ian women direc­tors filmed this process over a period of four years. OUR SCHOOL is a fas­ci­nat­ing feat: on one level, we observe how the beliefs of fig­ures in the dom­i­nant cul­ture – the mayor, the prin­ci­pal and the teach­ers – slowly trans­form into a kind of insti­tu­tion­al power to decide over the lives of these chil­dren. On anoth­er level, we follow three chil­dren who start­ed this project with high hopes, and we feel their dis­ap­point­ment all the more keenly. This is an atmos­pher­ic and intel­li­gent film that does not fall back on clichés as it fol­lows the pro­tag­o­nists affec­tion­ate­ly.