Soilsiu Films
Reviewed for &, linked to Rotten Tomatoes by Harvey Karten
Directors: Neasa Ni Chianain, Declan McGrath
Screenwriters: Neasa Ni Chianain, Etienne Essery, Declan McGrath
With: Kevin McArevey, Jan-Marie Reel
Screening at: Critics’ link, NYC, 08/31/22
Opening: September 23, 2022

Does anyone specialize in anything these days outside of IT and business management, business oriented that they hope will hire them for a lot of silver ? Oh, you say you’ve heard that some take Poli Sci, History, Film Studies? And philosophy? A few months ago, a report indicated that some companies were doing everything possible to hire philosophy students. Why? They know how to think. That’s what philosophy teaches you. And while Spinoza and Kierkegaard are too difficult even for graduate students, they have no problem with Plato and Seneca in a predominantly Catholic primary school in North Belfast. Yes, the students up to the age of ten love it because they have a great teacher as their principal.

Let’s be realistic. These kids won’t be excited by Plato’s tripartite soul theory or pay close attention to Sartre’s “No Exit.” But they can think for themselves on their own level. What Holy Cross Boys School headmaster Kevin McArevey wants them to learn, especially in an area that has seen enough violence involving British troops and Irish armies, is anger management. When you think with the help of philosophy, you realize that violence doesn’t solve anything but only leads to more violence, and this director, with the help of some teachers, makes his presence felt. Although some children still fight in the school yard from time to time, they are reprimanded, forced to apologize to their fighting friends and express remorse – real remorse as they cry in shame and hug their sparring partners.

Just like the youngsters here, especially those in the ghettos where drive-by shootings and random violence plague their lives, so do the children of Belfast, one of whom remarks that his grandmother still carries a bullet to her back as a keepsake from The Troubles of the 1980s. Directors Neasa Ní Chianáin and Declan McGrath bring black-and-white archival stills to show the class to remind them of how brutal life was before they were born.

McArevey, a big Elvis fan judging by the shashkas in his office, is just as good with parents, who stay attentive as he explains how to use the examples of philosophy to care for their own children. . He’s also in good physical shape, jumping three steps at a time, doing chin-ups in the gym with a few co-workers, kicking and punching a bag, and pedaling furiously on the stationary bike.

Children often lose their enthusiasm for school as they get older. They raise their hands furiously in elementary school, retaining some enthusiasm, in middle school, but are usually silent when teachers ask them questions, as if to show their classmates that they are too cool to give the fuck. hard to answer. Yet these poor North Belfast kids can throw off the typical high school ethos in America, retaining their enthusiasm through their experience with this incredible Renaissance man.

102 minutes. © 2022 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online

Interim – B+
Overall – B


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