Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Approaching the Elephant

Thursday, January 29 @ 7:00 pm

Latchis Theater

Buy Tickets

General Admission- Tickets $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, Students are FREE.

“Never let your schooling interfere with your education.” – Mark Twain


Directed by Amanda Wilder

Produced by Jay Craven


Film screening and panel discussion.

Approaching the Elephant, Marlboro College alumna Amanda Wilder’s award-winning new documentary film, chronicles the first year of the Teddy McArdle Free School, where kids come-of-age in unusual ways and rules are made democratically.

At Teddy McArdle, the youngest student and the school’s director have equal votes. And all classes are created by the students.

Among the film’s characters: eight year-old Lucy—bold, bright, confident, always testing the limits; long-haired Jio—a natural leader with an instinct for trouble; Sara, timid, perceptive observer and unlikely voice of reason; and the school’s charismatic director, Alex, working by trial and error and shaping the school’s daily practice—even as he questions his own commitment. Filmed in the direct cinema style of Frederick Wiseman and compared to Nicholas Philibert’s award-winning French documentary film, To Be and To Have, Approaching the Elephant poses the vital question of how kids and adults learn to sort things out and live with each other.

Official selection: Brooklyn Academy of Music’s prestigious BAMfest; Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival; Torino Film Festival; True/False Film Fest. Winner: Emerging Cinematic Vision Award, Camden Film Festival.

Panel discussion to include ATE director Amanda Wilder, education innovator Ron Miller, Brooklyn Free School alumna Erin Huang-Schaffer, Teddy McArdle founder/director Alex Khost, and ATE producer, Jay Craven.

“Rather extraordinary…so intense a portrait of disorder and power among adolescents that it often feels like a suburban riff on Lord of the Flies. – Village Voice

“Shows a filmmaker thinking outside the box.” — Wall Street Journal