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Try Harder (2020)

  • 1h 25m
  • Debbie Lum
  • United States

Download teaching resource HERE

SUGGESTED AGE GROUP
15+
CONTAINS SINGLE USE COURSE LANGUAGE

SUBTITLES
This film has online subtitles that you can switch on and off using the ‘CC’ button.

THEATRE SCREENINGS
TRY HARDER will also screen in theatre, with live Q&A Sessions

         AUCKLAND
         Thursday 3 June. 10am. SkyCity Theatre
         WELLINGTON
         Thursday 17 June. 10am. The Roxy

SYNOPSIS
At Lowell High School, the top public high school in San Francisco, the seniors are stressed out as they prepare for the emotionally draining college application process. There is intense competition for the few open spots in their dream colleges. Each student scrutinises every element of their application, from their classes to their extracurricular activities, to their racial identities. How will the sum-total of who they are, and what they are capable of becoming, be read by admission officers?

At Lowell, the cool kids are nerds, the orchestra is world-class, nearly everyone has an amazing talent and being Asian American is the norm. How do you stand out? And even if you do, will racial “quotas” prevent you from gaining a place in your dream college? And why do non-Asian-Americans choose to attend Lowell?

Told with humour and heart, director Lum takes us to the intersection of class, race, and educational opportunity.


Underneath the goofiness and gallows humour, there is a darker point being made about the impossible cycle of heightened expectations, cultural stereotyping and ever-shrinking admissions quotas for top-flight colleges.- Jessica Kiang, Variety

Q&A SESSIONS
AUCKLAND
         THE SKYCITY THEATRE
         Thursday 3rd June   |   SCREENING START TIME     10:00AM
         Q&A START : 11:15AM
                 FINISH : 11:45AM

         SPEAKERS:
         Raymond Suen
         Renee Liang



WELLINGTON
         THE ROXY CINEMA
         Thursday 17th June   |   SCREENING START TIME     10:00AM
         Q&A START : 11:15AM
                 FINISH : 11:45AM

         SPEAKERS:
         TBC

Director

Debbie Lum

Production

Kathy Susca

Language

English

Subtitles

English