Paper Tigers

  • UK Paper Tigers
USA, 2015, 102 min

Directed by:

James Redford


Tylor Norwood


Todd Boekelheide
(more professions)


Unconditional love might not seem like a rigorous pedagogical principle, but it's the guiding precept of this public school's approach to teaching troubled teens. Walla Walla, Washington high schoolers are the focus of director/producer James Redford's (Toxic Hot Seat, MVFF 2013) sixth documentary about uplifting responses to the acute problems of our times. Lincoln High's dedicated staff prize understanding over discipline and personal engagement over control, offering their students tools to cope with the chaos they face at home. Redford himself gets into the spirit of things, providing cameras so the kids can film on their own. By addressing the trauma that provokes their bad behavior, these adolescents inch away from failure, not only earning a better shot at graduating but also at staying out of the system and leading happier lives. One student's on-camera epiphany that she's the first woman in her family not to get pregnant in her teens will surely win over any lingering skeptics. (Mill Valley Film Festival)