"An inspirational, moving and ultimately uplifting film telling the unlikely story of a compassionate headmaster determined to change fortunes on an inner-city all-boys primary school and who turns to the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosophers, Young Plato is a breezy and powerful documentary that tackles big issues with a gentle touch as young minds learn to embrace challenging ideas."
A hopeful, heartening film that features plenty of observations from the children that put adults to shame.” “It would make a great double bill with Kenneth Branagh's recent Belfast - which is also a largely child's eye view, focused on the start of The Troubles - as it explores the legacy that continues to impact the community today.”
“Inspiring primary school principal anchors heartrending documentary set in Northern Ireland.” “Observant without feeling exploitative, the unassuming Young Plato eavesdrops on a number of situations in which individual children are challenged on their behaviour or nurtured in their better instincts. Moments of genuine remorse or growing understanding make for emotional viewing. The positivity of Young Plato is highly engaging, but the directors also ensure we have a sense of what is at stake here.” “By the time McArevey drives home from work to the sounds of Presley’s ‘If I Can Dream’ there isunlikely to be a dry eye in the house.”
… a stark reminder of the impact of generational violence. The lasting legacy of those dark times has been imprinted on those who witnessed them and their offspring. Young Plato is a sobering and emotive film about someone desperate to help make a change.
The style of direct cinema does not allow explanatory commentaries or interviews where context can be explained. The directors, Neasa Ní Chianáin and Declan McGrath, along with the editor, Philippe Ravoet, have tackled this challenge creatively by using several inventive ways to incorporate archives and explanatory information into the storyline without interrupting the flow of the narrative.
Young Plato shows that school can’t end where recess begins: what happens in the classroom affects what happens outside of it, and it’s the teacher’s responsibility to help make that outside world safer for everyone
“If, as Plato said, "the direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life", then the compelling documentary Young Plato suggests that the pupils of Holy Cross Boys Primary School now have a much brighter future thanks to the inspirational work of Kevin McArevey and his staff.”
What results is an utterly compelling documentary that breaks down a problem and offers a solution much like an educational lesson, teaching its subjects and the audience with encouraging thought and discussion
An intriguing experiment. Without a narrator or even on-screen text this observational documentary is very intimate, its lens so close to the boys’ faces that tears of shame and frustration are clearly visible
Plato once said that the highest end a person can ever attain is to sit down and contemplate the good. This film, this school, this man, and these pupils have already started that work and the good that they contemplate will obviously live long after them." "Remarkable