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January 18, 2011 > Race to Nowhere: documentary exposes silent epidemic

Race to Nowhere: documentary exposes silent epidemic

A concerned mother turned filmmaker aims her camera at a high-stakes, high-pressure culture of many schools and students, revealing unhealthy, disengaged, unprepared and stressed-out youth.

"Race to Nowhere" features heartbreaking stories of young people who have been pushed to extremes, educators who are burned out and parents trying to do what's best for their kids, a silent epidemic in schools. As a result, the film reveals rampant cheating, disengaged students, stress-related illness and depression. Many young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.

First-time filmmaker Vicki Abeles was inspired to make "Race to Nowhere" out of concern for her children. A mother of three and former Wall Street attorney, Abeles awakened to this crisis as her 12-year-old daughter was treated for stress-related illness. She witnessed overwhelming pressures, not only for her own kids, but to students everywhere - in all types of school environments and communities.

"As a mother, I experienced the stress firsthand and realized that no one was talking about it," says Abeles. "I saw kids who were anxious, depressed, physically ill, checking out, abusing drugs and, worst case, attempting suicide. I felt compelled to speak out about this crisis by making a film and giving voice to the students, teachers, and parents. I wanted to expose a deeper truth about our education system. We are graduating a generation of robo-students, unable to think and work independently, creatively and collaboratively."

A grassroots sensation, Race to Nowhere is already creating a groundswell for change; theaters, schools and organizations nationwide are hosting community screenings during a six-month campaign to screen the film. The film, used as a centerpiece, is being used to raise awareness and create a national dialogue on education and change.

For more information visit:
Runtime: 85 mins
Rated: PG13

Race to Nowhere (local screenings)

Friday, January 21
7:30 p.m.
Theatre 50
American High School
36300 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
(510) 796-1776

Tuesday, January 25
7 p.m.
Gomes School
Gomes Hall (Multipurpose Room)
555 Lemos Ln., Fremont
(510) 656-3414

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