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The Education of Shelby Knox

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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(Sep 26, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Shelby Knox--a wide-eyed, precocious activist--is the star of THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX, a riveting tale of one girl’s mission to bring sex education to schools in her ultra-conservative hometown of Lubbock, Texas. Bursting with original characters, including an intolerant preacher crusading for abstinence, Shelby’s skeptical but loving Republican parents, and Lubbock’s tiny-but-vocal gay youth movement, the film richly captures an unusual coming of age story. In a town filled with religious fervor, sexual ferment, abstinence-only agitators and teenage pregnancy, Shelby struggles with her conflicting values and comes to terms with her own sexuality. In the process, she becomes an endearing and honest guide to the national moral morass. Unafraid to tackle pressing, complex questions, the film is supercharged with religion, politics, sex and the cultural warriors and ordinary people who battle over these hot-button issues. Skillfully crafted by award-winning directors Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt, THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX is "a pungent civics lesson on what can and cannot be accomplished by one plucky, idealistic girl." (The New York Times) DVD Features: Bonus Featurette; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Special Features

  • Bonus featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Yvonne Caudillo, Shelby Knox, Rene Maquilleur, Amanda Noble, Ricky Waite
  • Directors: Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt
  • Producers: Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt, Jeremy Stulberg, Amy Kohn, Cara Mertes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GG4XYC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,262 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Education of Shelby Knox" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jessica Lux on June 18, 2007
Format: DVD
"Life in Lubbock, TX has taught me two things: one is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell, the other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on Earth and you should save it for someone you love." -- Attributed to Butch Hancock, The Flatlanders.

Shelby Knox made a purity pledge at age 16, just like any good Southern Baptist in Texas. Her fantasy boyfriend would be a fellow Broadways actor in Phantom of the Opera. She's never seen a condom or a penis (she guessed condoms might be black in color). She respects the pastor to whom she made her True Love Waits pledge, but she firmly believes that the church shouldn't be dictating the school's abstinence-only sex education platform.

The documentary is the story of Shelby's crusade to change sex education in her hometown of Lubbock, TX, which suffers astronomically high rates of teen pregnancy and STD transmission. Throughout the course of the movie, we watch Shelby mature from an outspoken and passionate high school sophomore to a confident, eloquent, convicted junior who is unafraid of even the most entrenched opponents. When a values coalition leader threatens to use his power to fire any city official who works with Shelby, and then tells Shelby not to undermine her own religious morality, she puts him in his place and firmly tells him not to question her personal relationship with God.

Shelby comes from a dedicated Republican father and compassionate Christian mother. Their order of priorities is God, Family, Country. Shelby does much soul searching during her campaign, talking with her pastor about her religion and its place in her school, as well as quizzing him on the church's stance on gays.
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Format: DVD
The Education of Shelby Knox is a rare film about a person who tries to make a difference in her world. The film focuses on three years in the life of Shelby Knox a Lubbuck, Texas teen as she fights for sex education in her school district.

Shelby Knox knew that the abstinence only policy of her school district was not working. Lubbuck has one of the highest teen pregnancy and teen STD rates in the country. As the newly elected member of the Lubbuck Youth Commission she tries to tackle sex education head on. We see her struggles with her peers, her community, her pastor, her parents and herself as she tries to reconcile her strict Southern Baptist beliefs with the world she lives in.

This is the rare documentary that gives an honest portrait of someone who is trying to make a difference. The struggles may not always provide the results that are hoped for but they do help to build a better world. Knox through her convictions grows as a person and as a citizen.

This is the type of film that if seen by more people would really make a difference. You may not share all of her beliefs but you cannot help but be proud of this young woman who stands up for what she believes in.
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By J. Rude on November 13, 2006
Format: DVD
'The Education of Shelby Knox' documents the political awakening of a Texan teenager over the course of three years. The young activist Shelby Knox is inspiring, in her courage to ask difficult questions and in her unflagging drive to make her town and school a better place. In the process of telling Shelby's story, the filmmakers reveal the difficulties of individuals trying to enact policy changes in the face of officially sanctioned intolerance and hypocrisy, and they show a local government afraid to come to grips with the realities of human sexuality. I believe this film's relevance goes far beyond Lubbock, Texas -- in essence, it is a look into the heart and soul of America. Every parent and every teen should see this film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At first I thought this was a scripted drama with actors. No it's real life. Kudos to the documentary makers for the dedication to capture the journey over such and extended period of time. Had it not been for their dedication this important moments of Shelby's life would not have been captured. And the surprise ending.....well it couldn't have been written more perfectly.
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Format: DVD
Shelby Knox is a precocious and motivated teenager in the religious and conservative stronghold of Lubbock, Texas, who begins to increasingly question the school board's policy of not teaching sex education. There is good reason to express doubts: Lubbock has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the state. Knox joins a commission of school pupils which takes on the topic and is swatted aside by the authorities. We meet the town preacher, who tells students they will suffer all sorts of torments unless they stay virgins until they get married. Knox, supported at first by her rather baffled Republican parents, starts asking all sorts of pointed questions which the school board and other adults doesn't want to hear. What is the point of sticking to an abstinence-only policy when it has clearly failed? What about the gay youth movement? Shouldn't they have rights in school too? In one-jaw dropping moment, the commission of pupils discusses gay rights, and one teenage girl solemnly announces that as far as she knows, homosexuals have all sorts of problems and rarely live beyond the age 40.

My problem with this film is that a lot of it comes across as staged and awkward. I don't deny Knox must have had these exchanges with her parents and the preacher, but to my eye a lot of them have been recreated for the camera. The more documentaries I watch the more I realise they are a work or art as much as a portrayal of what you're (supposed to be) seeing and this film comes across as very clunky, as though the makers came across the story late in the day and had to start over. It's definitely worth watching though.
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