It was so easy for a parent, like me, to identify with the fear that the fictional single parent played by Maggie Gyllenhaal felt in not having the access or means to get her child the resources needed to effectively support her child's educational needs.
While the whole 'measure the cumulative weekend box office' trend is usually stupid if not dangerous, I must admit that this is indeed an 'everybody wins' weekend. Sony had the top two films, with one setting a record and the other merely opening in line with realistic expectations.
Won't Back Down focuses on one way people have fixed the problem and created a decent learning environment for children who didn't have that option previously. Let's face it. The poor performance records of so many inner city public schools don't come as a shock anymore.
Schools in the North are extremely segregated. And they were never desegregated in the first place. After living here for four years, I know now that most of the problems we are are talking about in education today stem from this one fundamental moral failure.
In recent weeks there has been heated discussion about the nature of the Goliath in Won't Back Down, but for me much of this debate tragically misses the point -- both of the film and of the issue itself: It's not about us. It's about our kids.
It's one thing when documentaries like Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for 'Superman and Madeleine Sackler's much better The Lottery look at problems in public education and offer some solutions (such as charter schools).
Even though the national consciousness has been raised regarding issues related to education and folks are more engaged and informed than ever before, the efforts to misinform, malign, and muddy the truth remain.