Let the Little Light Shine

Shaw’s film provides an indelible reminder of cinema’s enduring power as a communal experience.


Let the Little Light Shine

When city planners impose unwanted changes, one person can easily feel helpless - but a group of people with a common cause just might find enough collective strength to fight the power. LET THE LITTLE LIGHT SHINE tells the story of the parents, students, administrators and students of Chicago’s National Teachers Academy, a high-performing public elementary school in an African-American neighborhood, who join forces in an effort to do just that. When the powers that be announce plans to phase out NTA’s current K-8 curriculum and transform it into a high school drawing students from other schools, the community senses gentrification at work and gets organized. Kevin Shaw’s riveting documentary captures the struggle to save NTA through all its highs and lows - introducing us to charismatic young leaders taking a stand to protect their academic futures.

“A fiercely concentrated call to action.” ~ Chicago Tribune - Michael Phillips

“The film’s final scene is one of the most genuinely suspenseful and moving that I’ve seen in a while.” ~ The Guardian - Adrian Horton
Not Rated
Documentary, Activism, African-American Experience, Education
Kevin Shaw
Steve James
Ronda Racha Penrice, TheWrap

Shaw begins the doc with a sentence: “In 2013, 49 elementary schools were closed in Chicago — the largest mass school closing in America,” with cries of “Keep Our Schools Open” in the background before showing a glimpse of regular Chicagoans in the streets marching. Shaw then returns to an all-black ...

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