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Excellent documentary that just aired on PBS's Independent Lens. The film focuses on Black Rock High School in the Mojave Desert--a beautiful, yet depressing and desolate landscape--that serves as a feature character along with human characters. We follow three teens in particular: Jennifer, Joey, and Lee as they struggle to gain the credits they need to complete high school while battling all of the outside influences and barriers that threaten their progress. If there is a "star" of the film, it's Vonda Viland, the principal of Black Rock who stands outside each and every morning, greeting students as they exit the bus to begin school. In addition, teachers and counselors are highlighted, as well as a particularly moving moment in a staff meeting. As someone who works with struggling students myself, I'm always interested in films such as this but also a bit leery. Will it be an inspirational film of overcoming the odds? Or will it be an actual realistic portrayal of just how difficult a life these students have and the knife's edge on which they live as well as how hard and frustrating it is to try and help. The Bad Kids certainly falls in the second category. There are one or two feel good moments, but mostly it is an accurate portrayal of attempting to educate students against all odds and, when inevitable failure comes, continuing to go out and meet them off the bus each morning anyway. Highly recommend--I'd give it 4.5 stars.