Resolved - documentary film

May 1, 2009

In the vein of documentary films Spellbound and Mad Hot Ballroom, Resolved follows high school debate teams over a period of two years all the way to the tournament of champions. With the exception of one team, all were from private high schools. The public high school team consisted of two boys from an inner city high school, who had not been trained to speak in short-hand and didn’t base their arguments solely on research. Instead, they argued that, based on their personal experience and how they felt, the topic of the debate was inherently racist.

It was fascinating to observe the reactions of their competitors, who had not been taught to think outside of an established set of parameters. Judges reactions were varied, and no less interesting. The impact of debate in general and these debates specifically on the lives of the students is alternately disturbing and uplifting.

Reviewed by Helen H.
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