Movie of the Day #8: Beyond the Blackboard

Saturday, December 15, 2012 3 comments
Beyond the Blackboard (2011)

The Story: In 1987, newly graduate and a mother of two, Stacey Bess took her first job as a teacher in a school with no name in a shelter of homeless people. She always wanted to become a teacher when she was a kid and with hopes to give her students the best education they deserve, she did everything she could just to make sure of it and eventually making a difference in the lives of her students and their families. 

Cast: Emily Van Camp as Stacey Bess, Timothy Busfield as School District HR Representative, Treat Williams as Dr. Warren, Liam McKanna as Danny, Paola Nicole Andino as Maria and Steve Talley as Greg Bess. 

Genre: Drama 


Why I love it and why will you? 

      First of all, I did watched this movie because of Emily Van Camp, you see when I become a fan of an actor/actress, I have this tendency to watch some, if not all, of their films.

    Moving on, throughout the movie, my general feeling is of happiness (despite some sad moments), for the children and their families are so blessed to have Stacey Bess in their lives. She's really a heaven sent. The title actually says it all, that the purpose, duties or responsibilities of teachers do not solely involve those of books, blackboards, classroom, for it's a lot more than that because they can share and do anything that could make a difference in their students' lives. Like what the saying says, "A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops".

   What's also great in this, is that it's based on a true story (from the accounts of the real Stacey Bess in her book entitled "Nobody Don't Love Nobody"), which makes it more inspiring. Now, I have another great teacher movie to add up on my list of inspiring ones. 

       I couldn't really point out the big epic turning point throughout the story or is it safe to say that that turning point is the whole situation per se, because it tackles a whole lot of issues from poverty, inequality, to separation, sacrifice and a lot more or maybe it actually is when Maria left. One reason is maybe because they dealt every problem coming in their way with so much kindness, acceptance and understanding, which somehow makes it a none problem thing, do I make sense? Or maybe I just did not see it the way I'm suppose to or I just never did realized or grasp the full feelings poured into each situation/problem. Anyway, it does not matter, I just noticed that I did not realize the movie is ending already, that's why I mentioned this. 

    On another note, the movie actually reminded me of Freedom Writers with some of its points in the story, one of which is a very passionate teacher who is really willing to do anything for the sake of making her students learn, and reaching out for them (up to a point of buying materials with her own money, transforming their very unlikely classroom into a bit likable one), and giving care and attention to their personal lives as well. Another is that the movie also showed the students' personal/familial problems/stories (like in Ron Clark Story as well). But, unlike in Freedom Writers where it really didn't go well for Erin and her husband, here in BtB, Stacey's family is really very supportive of her, that her husband even volunteered to be a coach for their summer school and her children are good kids she does not have to worry about. 

      Also (I just like to share), there is this one episode in Maalaala Mo Kaya which is somehow similar to this story. It starred Gladys Reyes whose character Letty Canlas is also an aspiring teacher with her own family. She was then deputed, by the school district representative, in a remote town wherein Aetas live. There were a lot of challenges for her especially in communicating with the people and with her committing to the said community, she begins to sacrifice her own family. But at the end, they all went well.  

My favorite Scenes
    I actually don't have a favorite (like really favorite) scene but I guess every part where there are people helping each other in the shelter (starting from the cleaning and painting) were pretty amazing to watch, like they were really a family already.

     Just to give you a glimpse of how her first day went, here she is on the day she took her job  (first picture), and the rest was her first day on the shelter. Expectation versus Reality!?

   I also did like that part in the park, where Stacey said to her husband that he was the best teacher she ever had. Such a sweet and understanding husband of her. 

Some lines that I really like (correct me if I'm wrong)
You know what, everyday I wait for someone to sweep on in and solve the problems out there, but there's no Superman coming Greg, me tag, we're it, right? This happened in my classroom and I had to do something about it. 
       I wish all people would think and do like her. Imagine how great this world would be if we all would think responsibly not only for ourselves but for people around us as well. 
Ms. Stacey, If I don't say goodbye, I can imagine you're always with me. Love, Maria 
     Goodbyes are always difficult but it ain't forever, it ain't the end. Still we got to move on with our lives and just believe and hope that time will come when you would meet again. It isn't always a bad thing, just think of it as a way to miss that someone. 
That's the trick, it's not easy. You serve, you have no control over what happens. But you keep serving. You keep serving. - Johnny
     I somehow felt for Stacey during this part because it's the truth, a truth that is really difficult to accept, that no matter what you do, no matter what you sacrifice for the sake of others, you still don't have control over their lives, and with that is the challenge to still continue doing what you're doing. And I then understand how teachers especially advisers feel when their students already graduate (especially those who had created bonds just like a family), which feels like someone they truly value has left them and eventually forget them. But that is not all true, because no matter how far we (students) are, how long it takes us to keep in touch again, how we've been in our career, we would always remember those special teachers who have touched our lives, and they will always have a special place in our hearts. 

Beyond the Blackboard is a Hallmark Original Movie, and I was actually supposed to say that it is the same thing that brought us the beautiful story of another great teacher Ron Clark, but it turns out that I just saw the movie in Hallmark Channel but it's not a Hallmark Original Movie. 

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