Half Nelson: what did you think?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

I know this isn’t exactly a new movie, but I just saw it this weekend on DVD. I’m curious to see what you all thought of it.

I was interested in seeing it because it seemed like a subversive reworking of the old angelic white teacher saves the ghetto genre. Subversive because the white teacher in this movie is addicted to crack.

I came away from the film pretty ambivalent. I think the filmmakers probably thought they were exploring the hypocrisy of what it means to be a well-meaning white liberal in today’s society. But ultimately, the message I got was that black people still need to be saved from themselves (drug-dealing, prison, crime, broken home, irresponsible parents).

If you saw the film, what did you think?