The Slovenia Times

Globalisation, the school system and our lack of creativity


A maths competition in China. A guy building guitars in France. And hopeless young security guard in Germany. Students competing for the "CEO of the future". What connects these people? They all appear in the latest movie by Austrian director Erwin Wagenhofer and tell a story of pressure, fear, competitiveness and an economic system that is exploiting people, not leaving them space to find their place in the world and do what they love.

After We Feed The World (about industrial food production) and Let's Make Money (about speculative money business) Wagenhofer concludes his trilogy movies criticizing capitalism and globalisation with Alphabet. His latest film asks inconvenient questions: what happens to people when they get educated? How does this education affect creativity and the ability of divergent thinking? Who needs creative and independently thinking people in our modern-day economy?

The movie follows different traces around the world, giving different people the chance to utter their opinion on the issue: a neuroscientist explains why babies are ingenious and loose this ability with the time. A professor for pedagogics in China sheds light on the country's problem with their demanding and stressful educational system. And a 90-year old Frenchman shows how children's paintings changed over the last decades.

Never getting annoying or to wise, Wagenhofer approaches a difficult issue with his own twist. He presents interesting studies and exemplifies why most of the children lose their creative abilities when going through the modern educational procedure. An inspiring documentary, strongly recommended!

Alphabet can be seen in Ljubljana's Kinodvor. There are screenings evey day, tickets are about 3 to 4 euros.


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