A Must-See Movie


“Inspirational” is a dangerously overused word. But it’s the only word to describe “Brooklyn Castle,” a new documentary that tells the story of a tiny, unlikely talent hotbed: a middle-school chess team from Brooklyn, NY.

What I love is that this film doesn’t settle for the easy, soft-focus portrait. It shows exactly how hard the the kids work, and how their work is driven by the powerful culture the coaches create. (Watching those coaches work is worth the ticket price.) What I love best, however, is how it shows lives and identities being utterly transformed through acquiring skill.

Go see it with your kids. You’ll love it.

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5 Responses to “A Must-See Movie”

  1. Rod Roth says:

    Wow! Thanks, Dan. Must see, indeed. My wife is a primary Ed teacher at a private school that celebrates all round achievement. This will be worth seeing.

  2. Jason Maxwell says:

    I wonder how many excuses the teachers make for these kids. I wonder how many times the administration at this school says things like, “Well…you have to understand his home situation.” I wonder how many tickets, trinkets, tokens, and other extrinsic rewards have been used to achieve this level of excellence. My guess is no excuses and no trinkets. I’d be willing to bet that this success is built on the idea that human beings are self-actualizing organisms that will strive for greatness when challenged and supported.

  3. Principal Guy says:

    I can’t find any movie theaters showing this film in norther New Jersey. Does anyone know of one?

  4. gpo613 says:

    I guess it isn’t in theaters around me anymore as I just checked. I will buy it on DVD the minute it comes out. I know a group of swimmers that this would be perfect for.

  5. eric gong says:

    This film is brilliant and if you have any interest in developing talent you’ll go out of your way to see it. It’s still showing at Lincoln Center in NY.

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