Approaching The Elephant

Approaching The Elephant

from 20.00

“Superb…astonishingly nuanced and intimate…a tour de force.”

—The New Yorker

“Intelligent, sensitive and expertly made…also significant because of its ability to provoke introspection and arguments.”


“The children’s personalities come across eloquently…puts one in mind of Truffaut’s Wild Child.”

—Sight & Sound

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  • Gotham Independent Film Nomination, Best Documentary
  • DocAviv’s Winner, Best International Film Award!
  • Belfast Film Festival Winner, Maysles Brothers Award
  • Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominee, Truer Than Fiction Award
  • Cinema Eye Nomination, Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film!
  • Winner, Emerging Cinematic Vision Award, Camden International Film Festival


Directed by Amanda Wilder
Produced by Jay Craven, Amanda Wilder, Robert Greene

APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT dives head-first into the inaugural year of the Teddy McArdle Free School in New Jersey, where all classes are voluntary and rules are determined by vote —adults and children have an equal say. Wilder is there from the beginning to end of the school year, documenting and observing founder Alex Khost and an indelible cast of outspoken young personalities as they form relationships, explore their surroundings, and intensely debate rule violations, until it all comes to a head.



For communities, towns, cities, institutions, private libraries, and state agencies that want to show the film to a public audience. Any time you are showing this film outside the confines of your institution you must buy the rights to a community screening.  The director and members from the movie are also available to travel to your town and be part of a Q and A after the screening. To inquire and book a screening Click HERE.

For private screenings (in your living room). No public screening rights are given with purchase of personal use DVD. This price is not for organizations/schools or institutions. 

For public libraries only. Private colleges and universities must buy the educational package.