Education of Shelby Knox

Education of Shelby Knox

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Director: Dennis Lee, Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt, Tiffany Shlain

Cast: Dennis Lee, Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt, Tiffany Shlain

     
 

A simple look at the debates regarding sex education in public schools becomes a dramatic journey of self-discovery for a teenage girl in this documentary from directors Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt. Shelby Knox is a young woman who at first sees eye-to-eye with the strict, traditional Christians in her community regarding sexuality's place in her high school.… See more details below

Overview

A simple look at the debates regarding sex education in public schools becomes a dramatic journey of self-discovery for a teenage girl in this documentary from directors Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt. Shelby Knox is a young woman who at first sees eye-to-eye with the strict, traditional Christians in her community regarding sexuality's place in her high school. But as she explores the issue as the subject of this film, Shelby begins to question the longheld beliefs that she was brought up with, leading to a drastic difference of opinion with her parents that threatens the fabric of their family.

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Documentary filmmakers are naturally drawn to subjects with a flair for the dramatic, but because they're working in an unscripted medium, they can never be sure they'll actually get something good once filming starts. In The Education of Shelby Knox, it's not that the quartet of credited directors came away empty, but let's just say the results probably weren't as inflammatory as they hoped or expected. But the film still manages to be engrossing as a snapshot of the prototypical small American town and its corresponding value system. Sex education in schools can be a tough sell even in liberal communities, so the resistance is tenacious in a conservative haven like Lubbock, Texas. And The Education of Shelby Knox provides many such examples of the clash between the titular youth, a pledged virgin who believes in helping lower her town's alarming teen pregnancy rate, and the many religious-minded opponents to her mission, including her own parents. In one of those moments that speaks volumes, a local Christian crusader, who had previously served as an advisor to Shelby, scolds her that he hears tolerance in her words -- as though it's perfectly normal to construe the word "tolerance" as negative. Like Jesus Camp and other films where the interview subjects don't realize their words will be fodder for liberal derision, The Education of Shelby Knox lets its players walk into their own traps. But as much as it's interesting to watch the town leaders engage -- or fail to engage -- Shelby's arguments, the soul of her struggle may be with her parents, who walk a fine line between mocking her values and providing the parental support necessary for her to succeed. Their spawning of this awakened young liberal is proof that an engaged mind can indeed escape its pre-programming, even in Lubbock, Texas.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2006
UPC:
0767685982037
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
NR
Source:
Docurama
Time:
1:16:00

Special Features

Bonus featurette; Interactive menus; Scene selection

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Education of Shelby Knox
1. No Sex Education [7:17]
2. The Knox Family [5:12]
3. Lubbock Youth Commission [10:03]
4. 'Sex Ed' [11:38]
5. Priorities [3:44]
6. Facing the Board [9:41]
7. G.A.P. [11:53]
8. Selling Out [4:05]
9. Champion for the Underdog [9:30]
10. Epilogue/End Credits [2:36]

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