The Kindergarten Teacher, dir. Sara Colangelo
What is this film about? Where is the battle of the kindergarten teacher? At first sight, I thought it was about those things nobody cared about, or that people pretend to care until they need to make a choice. Humanities, arts and creativity, not as a hobby, or some marginal art weekend craft, but as a life option. Something to believe in and support. And here is where Lisa (Maggie Gyllenhaal) comes in. She saw in one of her students a rare talent, touching poetry of a five years old child. This is less about What could happen if Billy Elliot didn't become Billy Elliot, than what happens to Lisa's character. We are going to listen to poetry, listen and see it in Lisa's expression, for whom the poems become breathtaking moments. Her character is so fascinating as is emotionally complex. Maggie Gyllenhaal allows us to grasp the multiple layers of a contradictory character; on one hand, she is conscious, bright, passionate; but on the other hand, incapable of knowing where to draw the line, and sad and tender too when the realization finally kicks in.
Don't be surprised if halfway through the movie you find yourself holding a growing sense of nervousness and ambiguity for the way things are going.
In the end, so many questions are left unanswered: the relationship between artists and genius, fiction, non-fiction, and the delicate balance between them all. I am heading back home with a quote in the back of my mind. Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth...