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Brooklyn Castle 2012

PG CC
4.5 out of 5 stars (85) IMDb 7.3/10

Imagine a school where the cool kids are the chess team! Welcome to I.S. 318. This irresistibly uplifting doc tells the stories of five members of the chess team at an inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country.

Starring:
Alexis, Rochelle Ballantyne
Runtime:
1 hour, 42 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Katie Dellamaggiore
Starring Alexis, Rochelle Ballantyne
Supporting actors Pobo Efekoro, John Galvin, Justus, Patrick, Fred Rubino, Elizabeth Vicary
Studio FilmBuff
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This documentary highlights the successful chess program at a Brooklyn middle school. What is powerful truly powerful is seeing the impact of chess on the lives of the young people involved with their school's chess program. The program and it's wonderful teachers truly empower students to work hard and try their best. The students, most of whom live in poverty not only find out the power that they each have but also the power that they have as a group. The documentary also highlights the impact that the economy and budget cuts can have on extracurricular programs such as chess... and ultimately how it could impact the future of our youth.
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If you love kids and you love learning, watch Brooklyn Castle! If you still believe that teachers make a difference (or even if you don't) watch Brooklyn Castle! If you want a contrary argument for those who say that money doesn't matter, watch Brooklyn Castle! In this age of High Stakes Standardized Testing, this movie gets to the heart of engaged learning for kids. Each of the main characters of this amazing documentary owns their own education. From the national champions, to the struggling novices, to the inspiring teachers and administrators, this is a school that gets what learning should be all about. The amazing thing is that there are several programs in this school that could have been featured. There may not have been the national championships to show, but it appears that most kids in this school are deeply engaged. Believe me - you will regain belief in the human spirit and in the promise of our youth.
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On the one hand, "Brooklyn Castle" demonstrates how, given a chance, chess can enhance the lives of young people much the way physical sports do - teaching them "life lessons" about working hard to achieve a goal, staying focused, reasoning things out, not giving up, accepting defeat and moving on, "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." The film is not about the Ruy Lopez or rook-and-pawn endings, but about the kids who play them and the coaches who train them.
The highly successful chess team at a middle school in an impoverished Brooklyn neighborhood has given the school and its students pride in themselves, a sense of self-worth, a belief that they can achieve, a sense of hope.
However, there is a questionable subtext concerning funding for extracurricular school programs - an agenda that one can never, ever spend too much money on "education," no matter how remote from basic subjects such as English and history. The incredible success of the chess program at this school makes it worthy of funding, but the implication every after-school activity ought to receive generous funds may annoy some viewers.
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I saw this documentary last year and fell in love with it. The kids are natural born actors and added live to this movie. I mistakenly purchased this dvd from Amazon thinking I would be receiving the regular dvd in the mail, but got it only on my computer.

I plan on purchasing it on dvd that way I can watch it whenever/where-ever I want. It a great movie.

Glenn G.
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I feel that this documentary should be shown in every school from elementary through high school. It shows friendship, teamwork, success, hard work and study. Committed parents and what that does for the children, chess... the challenges of chess. A commited school, "I.S. 318" and what the teachers do for the kids. It shows how this great game, can instill confidence,teach not to give up. If they
lose a game, it is not necessarily the tournament and that there are lesson's to be learned from the losses as well as wins. They learned to help each other, the students & teachers. The kids learned
to participate in the political process to save their own school and team from budget cuts, and to work together to raise funding for the after school program and then to petition the government and
school board for additional funding. They have learned life lessons from this game we call, chess. They all have profitted from their experiences. In fact our Congress of the United States could learn quite a bit from this movie, about real kids, and real life, and maybe, just maybe, they can the see the light and provide additional financial and moral support to our schools and our kids. Possibly, they will learn to feel what it is like to help a kid succeed, and this is much greater than their greed. I am a chess player who really enjoys the game, and undertands its benefits and potential benefits, and I commend all who participated in the production of a movie with "substance" and "value". Most of all I commend the "students", for their leadership, excellence, and enduring commitment to themselves and each other.
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This movie moved me to tears.

It should required watching for ALL POLITICIANS.

People complain about welfare, crime, and lifetime criminals when the answer is so simple: Give EVERY CHILD A CHANCE TO EXCEL and they WILL.

Yes there are some children that get sucked into bad behavior for various reasons,and the adulation from their outcast peers is more than the far-off possible reward from working hard in school. But the are 100x more children that if given a chance to excel in something, get recognized by caring and patient teachers and administrators, will go on to do not only good things, but great things in life.
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