Paper Tigers is a moving and profoundly important film that offers critical insights into one of the most widespread educational and health challenges in American society. It should be mandatory viewing for teachers and principals across the country, and anyone who works with vulnerable youths” said David Bornstein, New York Times author and Co-Founder of The Solutions Journalism Network. The film follows a year in the life of Lincoln High Alternative School in Walla Walla, Washington.

After radically changing its approach to disciplining its students, Lincoln saw a dramatic turnaround in everything from the number of fights to test scores to graduation rates. The school has become a promising model of how to break the cycles of poverty, violence and disease that affect families. Told with intimate verite and diary cam footage, Paper Tigers is a testament to what the latest research on childhood adversity is proving: that one caring adult can change the trajectory of a young person’s life.

Executive Producer, Karen Pritzker joined Redford on Paper Tigers following production of the successful, award-winning documentary, The Big Picture: Re-thinking Dyslexia. Redford and Pritzker have partnered to form documentary film studio KPJR Films and plan to follow Paper Tigers with a companion documentary, Resilience, which delves into the emerging unified science on human development and includes portraits of other practitioners putting that science into action.

There’s a beautiful quote in this trailer for Paper Tigers that shows the radical change of approach the teachers and staff at Lincoln made in interacting with their students. The trailer closes with the school nurse telling a student, “I mean the big challenge is I’m asking you to try feeling for a little bit because sometimes when you feel, it guides you in the direction you should be going and not to where you are.”

Click here to see the trailer for Paper Tigers

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