‘Won’t Back Down’ shows a fight for social justice in public education

By Leonard Brock
February 9, 2014

In a time where there are more horror movies than there are those that show inspiration and victory, it is great to see a movie such as “Won’t Back Down” to be made. “Won’t Back Down” is a movie that is worthy of its name; for the representation of the people that are teachers within the public school system that care about their communities and have or are fighting to make change.

The reality of taking risk, temptations to give up and be a teacher at a private school was faced by actress Maggie Gyllenhaal who plays a single mom (Jamie Fitzpatrick). Raising her daughter Malia, (Emily Alyn Lind) who is dyslexic and attends the public school she teaches at, Adams Elementary school.

Her daughter fell under the neglect of the school system not making it possible for Malia to learn because of her having dyslexia. What Jamie’s daughter Malia is going through is the same as her mother, who also has dyslexia. Jamie experienced the same cruel treatment that her daughter is facing in the public school system.

Actress Viola Davis who is known to play in another great movie, “The Help” plays as Nona Alberts who leads the movement with many other teachers for making a difference in her community.

Alberts, who has a child that is a little boy by the name of Cody (Dante Brown) who takes longer to learn in class, is treated the same way as Malia.

She works to change the negative effects that have hurt the public education system by going against the union.

Public schools across the country have broken-down systems. These school systems need teachers who will fight for better education for the children.

This is a movie that contains other great actors and actresses such as Holly Hunter, Oscar Isaac, Rosie Perez, Lance Reddick and Marianne Jean-Baptiste.

The movie showed the struggle and triumphs of taking the steps to making a difference. The movie had its high and low moments but it was definitely worth its title.

This story emphasized that it is okay to be told no, but keep pushing through because you will prosper.  “Won’t Back Down” is a movie that definitely fits its title.  Even at times when it seems boring or lacking everything, it needs to be a more powerful movie to the viewers.


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Leonard Brock

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