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(2007) N/A (N/A) (0) PAID http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117933980.html?categoryid=31&cs=1&query=resolved * * * * "See my profile for the key to this code" * * * * SYNOPSIS: "The opening minutes of "Resolved" aim to erase any preconceptions the audience may hold about the nature of high school debate, and the kids who participate in it. More cerebral than docs it superficially resembles, like "Spellbound," director Greg Whiteley is searching for bigger game and greater meaning than one usually finds in American docs about oddball subcultures. Pic cleverly explains (aided by some ingenious stop-motion animation) the odd stylistic changes that overtook debating in the 1970s, shifting from normal vocal delivery to a high-speed chatter, a la auctioneers, dubbed "the Flow," intended to pack as much information as possible within a time allotment. While "the Flow" has long been an accepted norm, Louis and Richard (Long Beach inner city kids) intend to propose that this form is inherently exclusionary and racist, since it is predicated on a team's ability to spend huge chunks of time (meaning money) on research and prioritizes formal delivery over meaningful content. What's most impressive about this tactic is that it's based, under the guidance of their heroic coach Dave Wiltz, on the literature of Brazilian educator and writer Paolo Friere ("Pedagogy of the Oppressed"), which argues for teaching methods that stress real-world problems over rote memorization. "Resolved" reaches a peak of intellectual excitement when these two kids from the inner city blow away their more privileged competition with their Friere-inspired approach." CONSENSUS: "Full of details that will both shock and induce nostalgia among former debaters, and refreshing in its presentation of American teens as intelligent young adults, pic reveals a fascinating rift inside the debate world that could portend a coming revolution." MOTIVATION FOR ME TO SEE: I was never on a debate team, so I thought I would see what goes on. MY THOUGHTS: And I thought this might be dull and boring. How wrong I was! 60 years ago, a clock was introduced to high school debate. 30 years ago this led to "the Flow," or how many arguments can one side voice within a time limit. Normal people (you and me) find this incomprehensible. And yet, here is a totally memorable film about that. Who would have thought? [New purchase by HCL] Supplements: interview with director, coaches and debater Louis Blackwell; two behind-the-scenes featurettes; trailer.
posted Jul 27, 2009 at 10:54PM
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