"It's a wonderful documentary look at an astonishingly successful public-school chess program that manages to be more moving and heartening than you expect. Which is saying a lot."
—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"What may well be the most optimistic, inspiring and downright thrilling movie released all year ..."
Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
"An irresistibly uplifting doc."
—Joe Leydon, Variety
WINNER, AUDIENCE AWARD, SXSW Film Festival
Brooklyn Castle is the remarkable and improbable true story of I.S. 318 in Brooklyn. The school, where 65% of students live below the federal poverty level, has the highest ranked junior high chess team in the nation. The heart of the film is the engaging young students who populate the team: Rochelle, who has the goal of becoming the first female African-American chess master; Pobo, the team's charismatic leader; Justus, an entering student who must manage the high expectations that come with achieving master status at an early age; Alexis, who feels the pressure of his immigrant parents' desire for him to realize the American dream; Patrick, who uses chess to help overcome his ADHD; and James, the young rapping maestro and budding chess talent; among several others.
USA * 2012 * 102 mins. * Documentary * Not-Rated