Radical (2023) Movie Script

Get out of here! Scram!
Shut her up!
What are you looking at?! I want
you in front!
Move it, Chepe!
I'm coming.
Three... Two...
Let's go!
Out in front, Chepe!
Shoes on, now.
I'm not telling you again.
I'm coming!
Hurry up, everyone.
What are you doing?
Two besos, two chocolate
and two ojos de buey. How many
is that?
A dozen.
Today is a big day, why not make
it two dozen?
Yeah, right?
Can I?
Hurry, come on.
Good morning my loves.
Everyone had a good breakfast?
Everyone except for Papa. He
only took coffee.
Straight home after school,
Where were you?
Hop on.
Better you get off here.
Chepe, do I have to go?
What did we agree?
Just for a few days.
Right, after that no one will
come poking around.
And then I can work with you,
We'll see, Nico.
Morning, Director.
Good morning.
Stay close to the others.
Look, toys!
Hey, get back here.
Silence, please.
Silence is the foundation of
Obedience is the foundation of
Obedience is the foundation of discipline, and
discipline is the foundation of learning.
And discipline is the foundation
of learning.
So, let's review our rules,
shall we?
Good morning.
I brought enough for everyone.
I'm glad to see that everyone -
Uh... Mr. Jurez?
Well, that almost everyone is
As you know, Mrs. lvarez gave
birth to a baby boy,
and two days ago decided to
become a full-time mother.
Fortunately, we found Mr.
He's from here in Matamoros,
and he kindly took the job at
the last-minute.
He's got a pulse, he's hired.
There's not much I can say you
don't already know, so I'll be
Although primary education is
mandatory and free,
over half of our sixth graders
are dropping out. We are
According to our ENLACE test
scores we are the very worst.
I'm sure you're all aware of
this by now,
this year they approved an
incentive bonus
for those who meet certain score
If that can motivate us to do
our jobs just a little bit
Let's not forget our kids, okay?
So... Let's have a good year,
shall we?
Do you smell that? Smells like
It smells like... trash.
Hurry up! Quickly now!
We don't have much time!
What happened to the desks?
Those aren't desks.
Why are they upside down?
They're lifeboats!
And that's not the floor...
It's the ocean!
Each boat can only hold the same
number of passengers.
Those who don't get into a boat
will drown.
But be careful -
If any boat has more passengers
than the others it will sink
and everyone on board will
There's 23 of us here and only
six boats,
so, figure it out. Ready? Let's
Five... four...
- Get in!
- Three... two....!
Come on!
Don't worry! I'll save you!
Help me! Please! Someone help
Help... me...
Now eight boats!
What the hell is going on here?!
There's one last passenger! Save
Five, four, three, two!
No, he's too fat! We won't
He'll sink the boat!
Wait wait -
Why would he sink it?
Here's an interesting question.
What makes a boat float?
Or what determines how much
weight a boat can hold?
Anyone know?
No one?
Do you know?
No... I don't know either.
Yeah I don't know either.
Where do we find answers to
things we don't know?
How about the Internet?!
I believe there's a computer lab?
It's out of service at the
Where else can we find answers?
We ask the teacher.
We tried that but as you've seen
We don't know very much.
How about books?
Is the library in service?
To the library! Let's go!
Where's the library?
Come on, let's go!
May I help you?
Yes please... Mrs. Florita.
We don't have any class visits
scheduled today.
You don't have anything
scheduled for today.
Procedure requires notifying the
library at least one day in
with desired reference materials
identified in advance.
Yeah, yeah, but we'll be quick.
Where are the encyclopedias?
They're here in back, BUT - -
Come on!
- This way.
- Hey!
No running, please.
What did we come for?
Boats, barcos...
Oh, man.
There's no 'B'.
There's no 'B'. Where else can
we look?
How about 'F', for flotation?
You know what?
We don't need the encyclopedia.
You can figure this out on your
Tell me.
Why do...
Why do things float?
Somebody. Just take a guess.
It doesn't matter if you're
what matters is that you try.
What matters is that you try. In
fact, I'd prefer you get it wrong.
In fact, I'd prefer you get it
Yeah, because when we make
we learn what we did wrong...
and that can help us learn
what's right.
But, how will we get good
What do grades matter?
We need good grades to graduate,
and so that our parents don't
get mad at us.
That's all?
Fine, that's easy.
As of now, you all get a 10.
At the end of the year, when you
get your report cards, you're
all going to find there: your
I promise.
Really. Got it?
Now we can get back to the
important stuff.
Who wants to be wrong first?
Come on, who?
No one?
Have you ever had a class like
that before?
I've never had a teacher like
What were we supposed to learn?
About boats, obviously.
Do you think?
- Walk with us, Romeo?
- What?
Don't worry, I can keep a
No, it's just that...
Have you noticed that Paloma
seems different this year?
Um, it's called puberty.
Heavy, no? Could be real silver.
You can replace the mirror.
Besides, I'm keeping it.
What do you want for it?
Do you think he meant it?
Why would he lie about something
like that?
Like that? Remember what he said?
He wants us to make mistakes.
Remember what he said? He wants
us to make mistakes.
If we don't have to be right,
it's okay if we're wrong,
and if it's okay to be wrong, we
can't get a bad grade.
I've never had a 10 before.
Papa, your nose.
It's nothing.
Come help me unload.
Fifteen minutes of cartoons
while I make lunch,
and then it's homework time.
Aren't you working the night
shift, mama?
What are you doing up?
The pretty boy.
First day of school -
How did it go, man?
Well - Last year, they
suspended him on the first day,
It's not for him man, just like
his brother.
Can't sit still, always on the
That's my Carlitos.
Staring out the window,
doodling, getting in fights...
Anything but paying attention,
am I right?
But it's ok, Nico. You got us to
take care of you.
You wanna learn from books...
or do you wanna learn from
"la vida"?
This is the real school right
here, no?
- We better get going.
- Word.
Let him carry it.
Mr. Jurez.
I missed you this morning at the
faculty meeting.
I missed you this morning at the
faculty meeting.
Yeah, I was... uh...
I had a lot of rearranging to do
in my classroom.
Yeah, I saw.
You have something against
No... just... some.
Like your desk, for instance.
It's just I don't think I need a
You have to have a desk. Every
teacher has to have one.
Is there some rule written that
says I have to have a desk?
It's not the kind of rule that's
but how will the students know
who's in charge?
Who's the authority?
Tell me -
You turn your classroom into a
playground, what's next?
Turn the playground into a
What's your story, professor?
What do you mean?
This place, you know what they
call it?
"School of Punishment."
Your name was the first on the
transfer list.
The only name, in fact.
You asked to come here.
Maybe I'm crazy?
You're running from something.
No, I just wanted to try
something different.
Like what?
I don't know.
I'm still trying to figure that
Well, perhaps this is the place
to do it.
After all, no one gives a damn
what happens here.
Just do me a favor, don't go
kicking any hornets' nests.
No... why would I...
The desk...
stays inside.
Help me push it back?
So... What's up with the
computer lab?
They were installed four years
and two months later they were
That was four years ago? -
There are no other computers
The only one that works is in my
Welcome to Escuela Primaria Jos
Urbina Lpez, Mr. Jurez..
What was that?
What's this?
I found it on the dump.
You should've left it there.
What use do we have for such
Come in, come in.
Sit wherever you like, there are
no assigned seats here.
In fact, you don't even need to
sit if you don't want to.
Hurry, come in!
We're going to do amazing things
in here every day.
But if you come late, you'll
miss it.
Have you heard the story of the
burro that fell into the well?
Then let me tell you...
One day, a burro fell into a
deep well.
Miraculously, it wasn't hurt,
but it couldn't get out.
The farmer who owned the donkey
figured that rescuing it would
be very expensive,
certainly more than the burro
was worth.
And since the well was dry and a
danger to his other animals,
he decided he should bury them
The burro and the well.
So, he began to shovel dirt into
the well.
The dirt fell on the burro, who
cried out,
But the farmer kept on
After a while, the burro fell
The farmer assumed the animal
was dead,
but he had to fill the well so
no one else would fall in.
So, he kept shoveling.
Imagine his surprise when he
suddenly saw
the tips of two ears sticking
out of the well.
He shoveled faster and faster,
as the burro's head slowly
emerged, shaking off the dirt.
Instead of letting itself get
the burro used all the dirt that
was thrown on it to step up and
Until the mound of dirt was high
that it could jump right out of
the well.
From now, we are going to be
like that burro.
No matter how much dirt gets
thrown at us, no matter how much
shit rains down,
we are not going to let it bury
We're going to shake it off, and
we're going to use it
to become the very best students
in the world.
There IS one thing that can stop
you though
if you let it.
It's you.
Now, I understand why you might
when there are kids your age in
the world
who can solve formulas in
advanced calculus
or write symphonies, or even
build robots.
How could the students at Jos
Urbina ever do those kinds of
if we don't have computers, the
Sometimes we don't even have
But, you know what?
We don't need any of that. None
of it.
What you need, what each of you
you already have.
And it's called...
It's up to you whether you use
it or not.
I can't make you.
Neither can your parents.
It's your responsibility to
decide if you want to use it,
and how you want to use it.
So let's do this:
From now on, I'm not going to
decide what we learn;
YOU will. All right?
So now, tell me:
What do you want to learn?
It can be anything, anything at
What do you want to learn?
Oh, nothing.
No one? Nothing?
Easy for me, then.
We'll just sit here then...
and learn about nothing.
And if you want to, we can do
this all year.
What was that?
Who was it?
No one?
On the count of three, I want
everyone to raise their pen.
One, two, three!
Come here.
Yes, you in the back.
Yes, you. Come.
- What's your name?
- Nico.
I also used to be the class
clown, Nico.
I was always punished.
I'll give you a piece of advice:
Don't ever change.
No need to raise your hand.
What's your name?
- Donovan.
- Yes, Donovan?
I'd like to keep learning about
boats and ships.
Good, anyone think more about
our boats from yesterday?
I realized that sometimes people
are going to die
and there's nothing we can do
about it.
And that's life.
Whoa, heavy. "There's nothing we
can do."
So, we should just let them die?
- Yes?
- My name is Lupe.
You don't have to raise your
I don't agree that there's
nothing we can do about it.
I think you need to do as much
as you can.
You need to do as much as you
can for as many as you can.
Very good, very good.
You just said the same thing
as one of the world's greatest
His name is John Stuart Mill.
Maybe you could be a
What's a "philosopher"?
It's someone who studies
Which is a way to explore,
or talk about life's deepest,
most complicated questions,
which can be very hard to
And that helps us figure out
right from wrong.
But I still want to know why a
boat floats.
But I still want to know why
a boat floats. Oh, right.
Oh, right.
Have you thought about why the
boat would sink if the director
got on?
'Cause he's a fat ass.
Good job!
You didn't raise your hand, well
Very good, thanks.
Tell me, Nico, why would the
boat sink because he's fat?
Maybe because he's too heavy?
Did you know a fat person floats
in water better
than a muscular person that
weighs the same?
Can anyone tell me why that
might happen?
It's a tough one, but I know you
can do it.
Think about it. Think, think,
Who wants to take a guess? Or,
how about this?
Why if I blow up a balloon,
it falls through the air, but
floats on water?
Remember a fat person floats
than a muscular person who
weighs the same.
Because they have different
Ah, so then it's the size.
What if I take a bowling ball
that is the same size as my
and drop them both on water?
The bowling ball would sink,
it's heavier.
And the balloon would float.
But, how?
If they're the same size?
So, is it the size, or the
I'll give you a clue.
It has to do with the way
fractions work.
That's precisely what we were
going to talk about today.
Fractions, division, and
Alright let's see...
Remember the boat game?
Tell me, what were the
Think about it.
The passengers who didn't fit in
the boat?
The passengers who couldn't fit
in the boat and drowned.
Well done!
You're so smart that, honestly,
I don't think that you even need
me here.
So... I'm going to go get a
and be back in 30 minutes.
I bet by the time I get back
you'll have all the answers.
Anyone want anything? No?
I'll be right back.
Muscle is heavier than fat.
How do you know that?
My mom works at a butcher shop.
A kilo of meat looks like this,
and a kilo of fat like this.
Maybe there's air in the fat and
that's why it floats.
So if they weigh the same, the
fat guy should be bigger.
But what does it have to do with
if a big balloon floats on
water, but a pebble will sink.
Because it has air in it. -
but I I'm sure a giant balloon
would weigh more than a pebble.
So that's it then, a fat person
floats better because they have
more air inside.
Like Director Chucho.
You must be the new guy.
I'm Arturo... Mr. Garca.
Hello, I'm Sergio.
Is everything okay, Sergio?
Uh, yeah, I think so.
The kids are getting the best of
That's one way to put it.
You can't let them see your
The key is to discipline them
from the beginning.
They have to know who has the
Hmm, I think maybe it should be
exactly the opposite.
Well, good luck with that.
You know the most powerful words
a teacher can say?
I don't know.
Ah, you do!
Shouldn't you be teaching right
Better I let them learn.
Mr. Jurez, everything all
Sergio, just call me Sergio.
Shouldn't you be in your class
right now, MR. JUREZ?
Yeah, yeah. So?
The kids are good.
Don't worry, in fact they may be
too good.
This is the school's only computer?
May I use it for a minute?
What? Now?
Yeah, it's just that these kids
are incredible.
I can barely keep up with them.
I would've thought that a former
middle school teacher
would be qualified to teach
sixth graders.
Yeah... me, too.
It's just that they're... moving
so fast.
Do you mind if I just...? Come
on, only for a sec -
Enough, Mr. Jurez! Let's go
let's go.
Enough, Mr. Jurez! Let's go
let's go.
Three minutes. Out.
I'm sorry, Director. Daniel
won't stop crying.
What's wrong, little one? Do you
like clowns?
Look! A clown's nose.
What are you laughing at? What's
your name?
Hey, come back! Wait!
So, what did we learn?
Have we figured out the problem?
We think that if a fat man and a
muscular guy weigh the same,
then the fat man would be
because muscle is heavier than
Exactly! Well done!
What? What's wrong?
We were sure that if two things
are the same size,
then the lighter would float
Ha! You're both right!
How can that be?
It's called an inversely
proportional relationship,
and you figured out both parts
of it.
What we were calling
is the concept of density.
Where density equals mass over
Mass is another word for weight,
and volume is another word for
And volume is another word for
As the mass increases, we get
higher density,
but if volume increases, we get
lower density.
Got it?
In Spanish, please!
Mr. Director, won't you join us?
What are you doing?!
Isn't it cool?
I mean, why are you out here?
It was your idea, remember?
Turn the playground into a
You're supposed to be teaching
natural science,
Your lesson plan today, if I am
not mistaken, should be on the
Solar System.
That was the plan, but right now
they're more interested in
- Physics?
- Yeah.
As far as I know, there's
nothing about physics on the
ENLACE test.
The ENLACE, sir. Come on.
Teaching to that test isn't
going to help these kids.
What does it really even
Did you ever think of that?
Come here.
What have you learned about
physics today?
Um... not much.
I mean I understand the 'reverse
relationship' of density -
- Inversely proportional.
- Yeah, that.
Inversely proportional...
between mass and volume
and how that changes density...
But how those huge metal ships
are able to float...
I just don't know.
But neither did you.
Well, uhm, that's a tough one.
- It's difficult.
- I see...
So, who is more dense, then?
You, or the Director?
Uh, I'm sure that...
the Director is far, far less
dense than I am.
You like to push it, huh?
No, not at all.
Although he has a lot more mass
and much more volume,
To know who is more or less
dense, we would have to measure
How could we do that?
If mass is weight, couldn't we
just weigh you?
Yes, we could. But what about
Yes, we could. But what about volume?
Long by wide by high.
Long by wide by high.
Length by width by height, but
very good.
That works for a regular object,
like a cube.
What about an irregular object,
like a person?
What's the Director's width? Is
it this...
or this?
Think about it. You're soooo
C'mon you've got this.
You have the answer right in
front of you!
Oh, Paloma. One second.
I saw your notebook. You know
all the answers,
Why didn't you share them with
your classmates?
Look, you have real ability and
Aerospace engineer?
You told Lupe she could be a
Do you think I could be an
aerospace engineer?
You want to design spaceships?
Well, several astronauts were
first aerospace engineers.
I guess we have our work cut out
for us.
If you could try to share a
little bit more with your
there's a lot we could learn
from you.
Do you think you can try?
Why are we going the wrong way?
Can I help you? Um...
Do you have any books about
Or philosophers?
Maybe John Stuart Mill?
John Stuart -
Those are college subjects,
I don't know why you'd have any
need to read stuff like that at
your age?
Okay, well, thanks.
Is that what you wanted?
Watcha got there?
Did you know you can burn things
with that using sunlight?
I did.
Yeah, who doesn't, right?
What a couple! The nerd and the
Go to hell.
Afternoon, Director.
Good afternoon, Mr. Garca.
This new guy, Mr. Jurez...
What do you know about him?
I checked his evaluations, his
references, the usual.
- Is that all?
- Yeah.
That's interesting,
I made a few calls...
Where were you? I was worried.
I guess I've been moving slower
What was that for?
I don't know. I had a good day.
Come on.
It floats!
Ok, you won.
But why do you think it floats?
Mr. Jurez, I hope you don't
Not at all, come in.
Please, come in.
How are you? This way.
I'm fine.
Look, before this goes any
I need to know exactly what
you're up to.
So, I guess it isn't true that
"no one gives a damn.
It's my responsibility to look
out for my kids.
"My kids..."
I called your old school.
They told me about an "incident"
you had there.
I had an episode in front of the
A kind of existential crisis,
let's say.
I'm fine.
What else do you want to know?
Nothing, nothing.
I'm only trying to understand
what it is you're trying to do
I mean, what's your method?
No, no...
I don't have a method exactly.
I don't understand.
Hey, can I offer you a beer?
No, I was just - - Please, I'm
inviting you in to my home.
Honey? We have a guest.
- Good afternoon.
- Hello.
This is my wife, Laura. He's my
Oh, I thought I was the boss.
Nice to meet you.
I'm Chucho.
And this is our little surprise.
He can be a bit impertinent.
Yeah, I've noticed.
I'm going to put the baby down.
Make yourself at home.
Thank you. Excuse me.
You asked why I came here.
"Jos Urbina Lpez Elementary
receives... grant for a computer
That's dated eight months ago.
It says the funds were already
They were disbursed all right,
but they never got to us.
- You know how it goes.
- Yeah.
"They'll be there tomorrow, no
need to press."
In Matamoros you don't press
more if you know what's good for
Of course, yeah, sure.
Why the obsession?
We grew up without computer labs
and we turned out fine.
You have one of those phones
that go online?
Yeah, why?
Can I borrow it? I want to show
you something.
By the way,
there's a girl in my class,
Paloma Noyola.
What do you know about her?
Not much. Quiet...
Could apply herself more.
- That's it?
- Yeah, why?
This is the last of it.
Let's see...
18 kilos of iron at 55 cents per
3 kilos of aluminum, at 11 pesos
per kilo,
4 kilos of bronze at 2.75,
and 3 kilos of copper at 26
The total comes to 105 pesos.
Let's go.
He shorted you.
What's that?
Papa, he's cheating you.
Excuse me? I think you counted
It should be 131.9 pesos.
Rounded up, 132 pesos.
Would you check again? Of
Look at that... you're right.
It's 131.90 pesos.
Sorry. Must've hit the wrong
What happened?!
You didn't come to Nacho's.
I'm sorry, I just -
Where's your backpack?
It's inside.
You need to think, Nico!
It's okay.
I'll be fine. You sure?
What are you doing?
Ever since I can remember, this
thing has been here, rotting
Think you can fix it?
I've been learning about
flotation at school.
Flotation? Really?
- How will you get it to float?
- Well...
First, I have to keep the water
out of it.
Duh, obviously!
No, what I meant is...
Duh, obviously!
- No, what I meant is... I need to seal all the holes because if water gets in...
I need to seal all the holes
because if water gets in...
Maybe... maybe that's it.
Even though it's not sealed like
a balloon,
it uses the air in this space,
so that it makes the boat less
dense than the water!
Yeah! That could be it!
Look at you...
Getting all scientific!
What is it?
Do you think I could stay in
school, at least for a little
Jeez, I don't know, man.
Let me talk to Nacho, okay?
All right.
You're trying to tell me your
entire approach is based on
some... YouTube video?
Yeah, pretty much.
So you said to hell with the
Yeah, pretty much.
We'll get it all covered
eventually, but,
When they want to, when it's
their idea.
Although, after what I saw
I'm not even sure they need me.
If they had computers,
they'd learn everything by
Oh my god.
Did you ever teach?
It's a requirement to become a
So then you remember why you
decided to become a teacher, no?
That was a long time ago.
What was the name of that
Mrs. Carmona.
Mine was Mr. Chvez.
Profe Juan Antonio Chvez.
He told me I could change the
and I believed him.
I remember how I gave him a hug
up there, in front of everyone,
at my graduation.
When I started teaching my kids
would come up to hug me, too.
But over time, each year there
were fewer and fewer,
until last year, not one.
Kids have changed
Kids will always be kids.
The world has changed, Mr.
Yes, but we haven't.
Nothing in education has changed
in the last 100 years.
Nothing. From the school bell to
the uniforms.
"Be quiet! Stand in line! Raise
your hand!"
We're training these kids to be
cogs in a machine
whose only purpose is to keep
running for its own sake.
And if it chews them up and
spits them out,
it's because they didn't follow
the rules of our little game.
But these kids are so much
smarter than that.
They know full well the machine
is obsolete.
So they tune out, they drift
and we lose them.
You asked me why I came here.
I don't want to lose any more
Not one more.
Aren't you a little old to be
such an idealist?
I'm a little too old to be a new
Dad again.
Okay, Mr. Jurez...
Sergio, just Sergio.
Call me Sergio.
Okay, Sergio.
I'm going to give you a
just don't piss it away, eh?
Oh, actually...
Can I ask you for one more tiny
It's ready, get in.
Mom, time to get up.
What's going on? Come on, help
me out here.
Good evening.
Breakfast is on the table,
coffee's ready.
Thank you.
All right, in you go.
No! What are you doing!? You
didn't take off your underwear.
Get out, get out!
Uhh, get back in...
How much?
- Seven centimeters.
- Yeah!
Next. Next!
Wait, I changed my mind!
Ok, I'm here.
"Tiny favor."
It's for the kids, remember?
For the kids.
For the kids... This is for the
For the kids!
For the kids!
I'm going, I'm going.
Ten Centimeters.
Ten centimeters!
Sergio is more dense!
Sergio is more dense!
We can build a water heater, or
an oven...
I have an idea! Check this out.
We're going to win!
Hell, yeah!
Hi, there. Can I help you?
Do you have any books about
Of course.
Are you interested in any area
in particular?
Metaphysics? Ontology?
Morality? Logic? Aesthetics?
Marlene, can you give me a hand?
Here you go.
This never happens!
Give it a whack.
Over here.
None of that is usable. Take all
you want.
Careful not to cut yourself.
Good luck.
We believe gravity is that which
makes us fall,
but it only seems like we're
When we're actually being pulled
towards Earth,
because its mass is so enormous
compared to ours.
It's the same reason why the sun
pulls the Earth.
Then, if the sun is pulling the
Earth how come we don't just
crash into the sun?
Because the orbit is the exact
spot where a planet is caught
between falling towards
something and falling away from
So, the entire universe, all of
us, all the time,
are actually just falling
through space?
Yeah, something like that.
Hey watch where you point that.
Okay, so...
Everyone knows that a magnifying
glass can burn things.
This is unfocused light
reflected onto my hand.
But what happens if we focus it?
I hope you enjoyed our Solar
Death Ray!
If you think that was cool,
You'll like this even more...
Watch what it does to this
bottle of gasoline!
Come on, everyone! Let me see
you rotating!
Now revolution!
Why so early, Nico?
Everything ok?
All right, tell me.
You said we could ask you
anything, right?
And there is no question that's
too weird or that we shouldn't
ask, right?
That's right.
Okay, so... here's my question.
How do I get a girl to like me?
- See!
- No, no!
It's a very good question.
A very important question, in
I'm serious, but...
like all big questions, there's
no one answer.
Because there's not only one
kind of girl.
What kind of girl are we talking
That's the thing.
She's just so smart, and I'm so
dumb -
Hey, hey.
None of that.
Every time I try to impress her,
I end up saying something
Well there's your problem!
You're trying to impress her,
show her how great you are.
That works with some women,
You're not interested in just
any girl, are you?
There you go.
With a girl like that,
you gotta show her how great she
is, not you.
Support her, encourage her...
Because she is going places.
Especially someone like Paloma.
Eh, it was pretty obvious.
I was going to give this to her,
but I think maybe you should.
Tell her "look what I found and
it made me think of you."
How come you know all this
Remember when I said we learn
from our mistakes?
I've made a lot of them.
Take care of it now, you don't
want to lose it -
Sorry, it's just that... I keep
important stuff in here.
Let me see that bag, Nico.
It just has my school supplies,
a gift from my brother...
- That's all.
- Nico!
No, no, no, - Nico, give it -
Please, we never open it.
Give me that bag.
If they find out, they'll kill
Please, I'm begging you. Don't
open it.
Give it to me, Nico.
Will you?
If I open this bag,
am I going to find something no
12-year-old should have,
much less bring to school?
I don't know.
Nico, if I find something like
I'll have no choice but to
report it,
and from then on everything will
get much more complicated for
So what are you going to do?
That's what you have to tell me.
Good morning.
I looked up your questions,
they're up front with your names
on them.
Nico, I know you've had a lot of
catching up to do,
but out of all my students,
you've made the most progress.
Remember what I said at the top
of the year about taking charge
of your lives?
You have to decide which
direction you want your life to
Do you want it to go this way?
Or this way.
You can't have both.
Almost on time.
At least you're making progress.
Today, we're having Rosita's
dance presentation.
It's going to be fantastic.
But before we begin, it's game
Pay attention.
There was a famous mathematician
Carl Friedrich Gauss.
In 1777, when he was a kid,
his teacher wanted to keep all
his students busy,
so he asked them to add up all
the numbers from 1 to 100.
This was supposed to take them
but Gauss answered immediately.
Can anyone tell me how he did
Uh, Team 2? Paloma?
Is it...
How did you get that?
I added 100 plus 1... 101.
99 plus 2, 101.
98 plus 3, 101.
In total, there are 50 pairs of
Team 2 gets a point.
I need to report an incident.
Are we done here?
It seems we are.
What happened?
A student may have brought
contraband to school.
"May have brought"?
Yeah, I'm not certain.
Who's the offender?
Come again?
Yes, maybe I should've reported
the student.
Isn't that what you're doing
right now?
No, because I'm reporting
For what?
For failing to report something
that... Maybe I should have.
I chose not to look in their
So, who is the student?
No, I can't tell you that.
Because technically, there
hasn't been any violation.
And I want to give them an
I just... I'm not sure I did the
right thing.
This seems more like a
confession than a report.
I didn't do it just for him. Or
It's just that the whole class
is engaging,
the method is working.
If I report this student now, I
could lose everyone's trust.
It would ruin the whole thing,
and I don't want to lose them.
So what am I supposed to do?
Tell me I did the right thing?
the only thing that you did...
was confuse the hell out of me.
Can I walk you home?
Don't you live by the beach?
Yes, but I'm taking the long way
Besides, you'll be a lot safer
with me...
Suit yourself.
You can build your own rocket,
and you get to experience a
zero-gravity chamber.
And look, there's also a
simulation of a failed launch,
where you have to regain
And get this:
Three students have become real
Sergio told me that - - Wait a
Sergio gave you this?
Wanna see something?
Are you okay, Papa?
Yes, don't worry.
I'm just a little beat today.
Who's this? Good afternoon. I'm
We're partners on a science
Let me take my bag inside, I'll
be right back.
Eh, how are you, sir?
Come on.
Sorry about the smell.
What smell?
Where did you get that?
I... found it.
You haven't seen anything yet.
- What's that?
- My tripod.
Doesn't it have to be nighttime?
- Where?
- There.
Where the ocean meets the sky.
What - what's that?
SpaceX. It's the launch site in
Boca Chica, Texas.
Soon the world's biggest rockets
will be launched from there.
And we can watch them from right
They're asleep.
What are you reading?
About moral dilemmas.
I don't understand a lot of it,
but it's very interesting.
let's say you're the captain of
a sinking ship.
You have 30 passengers, but the
lifeboat only holds 15.
How do you choose who to save,
and why?
What class is that for?
It's not for school.
I got it from the university.
For myself.
Wait, what?
That library is amazing, you
should see it.
I thought I'd like to study
but after seeing all those
books... I dunno.
But I want to be a professor,
that's for sure.
You're not even going back to
school next year.
I have to work, who's going to
look after your baby brother,
Look, if it means a lot to you
and you really want to,
I'm sure you can get back to it
after, once he's in
Let's go, Paloma.
Oh, there you are! Special
presentation today.
Your class gets the first slot.
9:00 am. Computer lab.
The District sent a technician.
He'll show some basic concept to
the kids
He'll explain to them how a
computer works.
Really? Yes, he's setting up
Yes, he's setting up now.
What happened?
I insisted, I pressed.
I could kiss you.
Please don't...
I haven't brushed my teeth.
See you there.
How did it go?
I think... good?
- What's this?
- A little gift.
Call it a Christmas bonus...
I'm not big on tests, much less
practice ones.
You see the date?
2012? But that's this year.
It's not a practice test. It's
the real deal.
Where did you get this?
It's everywhere.
You just have to know where to
Thanks but...
It's ok. We're all together on
You can keep doing your thing if
you prepare them with this
the other teachers won't be so
bothered by your little...
Thanks, but... Count me out.
Thing is, we're evaluated as a
If your students do poorly, you
bring us all down.
So you kind of... have to be in.
What about the kids?
They'll have no idea.
If they excel, they graduate. If
they fail, they graduate.
No matter what happens, they
graduate. That's how it's always
The only difference is whether
we get a bonus along the way or
No, the only difference
is whether or not we teach them
to cheat.
That's the difference.
Laptops? Even better!
- Good morning.
- Morning!
Believing computers are a vital
part of the modern economy...
Eh, the government of
Matamoros - - Cut to the chase,
This is a CPU, or Central
Processing Unit.
It's the brain of the
The CPU stores the data and
the operations that make a
computer work...
Did you know that a computer can
execute up to...
four million commands per
What are you doing? - Excuse
I assume you gave this to my
You must be Paloma's father.
Twelve hundred dollars.
I don't make that in a year.
No, no, uh...
They offer scholarships, the
school would recommend her.
Paloma has a good shot.
We could hold a fundraiser for
her travel expenses.
I'm sure that - - Look, Maestro.
I may be poor.
I've worked all my life sifting
through trash,
but I'm no beggar.
Oh, no, no. That's not what I
I know this may seem like a big
stretch for you,
but Paloma isn't just any
- She can get that scholarship.
- And then, what?
When she goes to this "space
camp" and sees all that crazy
And then returns here? To
You know...
You blast these kids off like
rocket ships into space,
after packing their heads with
all these ideas.
But when they leave your class
and return to the real world,
when they come crashing back
down to earth, where will you be
Will you be here to catch them
and tell them to keep trying?
You'll be filling another bunch
of heads with your crazy ideas,
reminding them of what they
can't have,
what they can never be.
Please, Maestro.
Don't do that to my daughter.
Come on, Paloma.
- You can't go in!
- Excuse me.
I know you're busy.
I tried to stop him.
Sorry to interrupt, but - -
Who are you?
I'm Sergio Jurez Correa.
I teach at Escuela Primaria Jos
Urbina Lpez.
I wanted to talk to you about...
About the situation with...
with our computers.
It's fine, Martha.
We always make time for our
soldiers on the front line.
Interesting choice of words.
Pardon me?
Soldier. Front lines...
As if I were at war, fighting an
But no. I...
I spend all day with...
So, tell me...
How can I help you?
Nacho asked about you today.
"When is the pretty boy going to
Now that school's winding down,
he wants to show you the ropes.
What is it?
Do you see out there?
You can't tell where the ocean
and the sky begins.
Did you know that right now,
we're standing in outer space?
Yeah, it comes all the way down
to here.
What we think of as the sky is
just a layer of gas.
It doesn't feel like there's
anything, it seems empty,
but it actually has mass -
like weight -
and it's always being pulled
towards Earth.
It's trapped here.
Just like we are.
Hey, I'm not going to work for Nacho.
Are you serious?
But you hate school. What
I don't know. I just... like it.
There's this teacher,
who does things differently.
With him, I think I could
actually be smart.
And, there's this girl...
Ha! The truth comes out.
Check out our little Don Juan!
If you had a shot to do
something else, I'd want you to
take it.
But with Nacho, once you're in,
you're never out.
But I was never really in...
Hey! Need a ride?
I was enjoying the walk, but
Your car in the shop? Yeah.
I traded it for something more
Is that what I think it is?
Now you'll see what they can do.
You didn't have to do that.
Oh, I did.
- I'm sorry, I really thought -
- It's okay, I know.
In fact, I really appreciate
your effort.
Your wife didn't get mad?
- Are you married?
- No.
Good, because...
I think I'll be staying at your
place for a while.
His approach is unorthodox, but
the results are compelling.
Yes, I'm sure.
We have visitors. To what do we
owe the honor?
I take it you know each other -
What are you doing?
We were having a discussion and
things got pretty intense,
so we were taking a moment to
cool down.
Don't mind me. Please, continue.
I'm just here to observe.
What were you discussing?
We were discussing... morality.
That's not a subject we're
familiar with.
According to the lesson plan...
March 20th...
you should be preparing for the
ENLACE test.
Yeah, but Lupita has taken an
interest in philosophy.
Philosophy? And she was sharing
with the class
some of the things she has
Last year, in the fifth grade,
this class's scores were among
the worst in the nation.
I find it strange you have time
to do anything but prepare for
the test.
Well, like I said.
Someone told Lupita she was far
too young
to read about philosophy.
So, we were trying to see if it
could answer some difficult
Like which?
I wanted to know what John
Stuart Mill would say about
And what do you think he'd say?
If we want the greatest good for
the greatest number of people,
I think that if you're
struggling to afford rent and
It's better not to bring more
children into the world who are
only going to suffer.
And that would also cause more
suffering for others.
So, yes.
There are cases where abortion
might be the right thing to do.
My god.
So, how do you feel about this
Well, I think about my own
Sometimes they are a lot of
but I also don't like imagining
them not having been born.
I don't know.
It's very complicated.
But it's cool.
We all agreed that condoms are
the obvious answer.
Well, not everyone agrees.
In fact, we had quite a debate
about that, didn't we?
According to Stuart Mill,
something can be good or bad
depending on the situation.
Is there something that in his
would always be immoral in every
Anything that hurts many for the
benefit of a few.
Like what?
Like if someone steals something
that is meant for everybody?
Very good, Nico. So something
Given you have the time to
discuss such advanced subjects
in class,
You must have total command of
the basic sixth grade skills
You, tell me...
What's the square root of 256?
What's the square root of 256?
What is that supposed to show?
What is that supposed to show?
No? With whom was Mexico at war
in 1846?
He hasn't gone over that yet,
he's -
Explain Darwin's Theory of
Hold on -
As I suspected...
This child lacks the basic
knowledge expected from a sixth
Mr. Jurez, he's the
of an ignoramus.
Now wait - Hey Nico!
And undisciplined too!
What's wrong with you? Why did
you do that?
To me, say what you want, but
don't you talk to the kids that
The square root of 256 is 16.
Mexico fought the U.S. in 1846.
Darwin's theory of Evolution is
the survival of the fittest.
Thank you, Mr. Jurez. See me in
the Director's Office.
I've been thinking about our
game from the first day,
The boats and the passengers?
There's an obvious solution.
You shouldn't sell more tickets
than there are spaces in the
Wait, Sergio.
I bet he's taking bribes from those
Wait, Sergio!
I asked you not to kick the
hornet's nest, and what did you
Abortion? Condoms? Corruption?!
I can't ask my students to be
fearless learners, to do
whatever it takes -
to go wherever their inquiries
take them -
And then what?
Turn into a bootlicker right in
front of them?
Think of the big picture
What matters is that they keep
you as their teacher.
So what if you have to lick a
few boots?
Are you serious?
Mr. Director? I'm waiting...
Right away, sir.
Mr. Jurez...
I must say I was very disturbed
to receive numerous complaints
that your kids aren't being
prepared for the ENLACE test,
But I didn't imagine the
situation would be this bad.
So you are hereby suspended for
two weeks.
Until after your class has been
prepared for the ENLACE test,
For which you have obviously so
little regard -
You're right, I won't deny it.
I think it's a useless test.
But don't take that out on the
OK I'll do it, I'll prepare
For the next two weeks, that's
all we'll do: prepare for the
But please... don't suspend me.
To bring in anyone else but me
to prepare them would just be...
You can thank your Director that
this is only a suspension,
and not a permanent dismissal.
But to be honest, I'm starting
to reconsider my decision.
That won't be necessary.
That won't be necessary.
Anything else to add?
Good day, Professors.
This is insane, Chucho.
Did you know that in my class,
right here in this school,
there's a girl who I'm sure is a
certifiable genius?
The only thing you knew about
her before I got here was that
"she could apply herself more."
How many kids in this country
could be like her?
But as long as we tolerate this
deliberate ignorance, we will
never know.
I'm sorry, Sergio.
My hands are tied. Yeah, yeah.
Consider it a vacation.
Go spend some time with your
wife and baby.
Hey, you okay?
You know? You're not stupid.
Or an ignoramus, or whatever
that man called you.
I mean it.
You always come up with the most
clever things to say, so
I could never do that.
There's the pretty boy!
Chepe says you're confused about
who you work for?
I couldn't believe it, so I
wanted to see for myself...
So? Do you work for me, or not?
It suddenly occurs to me that
the reason you're confused
is because we never gave you a
proper welcome to the family.
A real initiation, you know?
Who's this?
She's no one, just a friend.
Go home.
- Hang on, love.
- Hey!
What's going on?
Are you a virgin?
- What?!
- Nacho, don't!
She'll do.
She's just a kid, man!
Look at your brother, trying to
act tough!
They're just kids, man!
- Wait, Nico!
- What the fuck?!
Lupe... Lupe!
Are you okay?!
Are you all okay?
Are you ok?
Paloma, are you all right?!
Carlos ate 3/8 of the pizza,
whereas Ricardo ate 1/4 of the
same pizza.
How much of the pizza did Carlos
and Ricardo eat?
Good morning, Laura.
What a surprise.
Maybe you can get him out of
Excuse me.
Can we talk for a minute?
Sergio, the ENLACE test is
That means your suspension is
We're understaffed, we could use
your help.
We haven't heard anything from
I need to know if you're coming
You know I couldn't do anything
about what happened.
You know I was against it.
Sergio, open up!
I'm not leaving. I'm staying
right here.
I'm going to eat your food, crap
in your toilet...
Whatever it takes, I'm not
leaving until you come out.
You can't walk out on these
They're traumatized enough as it
Maybe it's the best way to
prepare them for the future.
- Hi, how are you?
- Go.
That's it? You're gonna give up
so easily?
Yeah, why not?
You don't want to finish what
you started?
You saw for yourself that you
were succeeding.
Want to know what I succeeded
I succeeded at getting... they
killed... one of my...
Look, look...
If you don't want to, you don't
have to come back...
Great, so why are you here?
Great, so why are you here?
For the kids...
For the kids...
I want to get my kids back.
They stopped coming?
I want them to take the ENLACE
That fucking test...
Look, like I told you...
I failed...
Them -
I thought...
I thought I was doing things the
right way.
Really, but -
I should've checked the
No, if I come back they're just
going to end up paying the
Wait a minute, Sergio.
- Wait a minute, Sergio. I really do think you were on the verge of something big with
I really do think you were on
the verge of something big with
I saw it myself.
I have never seen children
respond like that before. Ever!
Or make such progress in so
little time.
But no one gives a shit what we
think of this method.
No one will care unless we show
measurable results.
That's what the test is for.
You said it yourself. Paloma
might be a genius.
But, how would we know -
Paloma stopped coming?
Good afternoon.
What are you doing here?
The director said he'd leave me
alone if
I convince you to come back
to school.
You're not going back?
I don't know if I can.
Why not?
Maybe your dad was right...
Maybe I've done more harm than
I can't come back.
I have to look after him now.
He's sick.
I'm so sorry, Paloma.
I'm so sorry.
But my dad wasn't right...
You told us we had as much
potential as any other kid.
But what we didn't have before
you, was the belief...
That we could fulfill it.
I never could have allowed
myself to imagine the things I
did in your class.
About who I could be, what I
could do.
And that's something I get to
have now.
I wouldn't have that if it
weren't for you.
And I'll never...
ever forget that.
But sometimes, believing is not
the reality is the reality.
Look around...
This is my reality.
There's no escaping it.
And people like me...
like Nico...
We don't get to escape.
I understand.
Mr. Jurez.
Mr. Noyola.
Paloma doesn't need this
You should take it back. It
might get damaged here.
But... what is it?
She borrowed it from school, for
a science project.
The school could never afford
something like this.
She didn't borrow this.
She made it.
That's impossible.
Isn't everything impossible
until it is done?
Paloma is an extraordinary girl,
Mr. Noyola.
I only wonder if you know just
how extraordinary.
Don't say that, Maestro.
This is hers.
It's hers.
Can we make one more stop?
You should be resting, Papa.
Come, sit with me.
Are you feeling all right?
It's all gonna be ok.
That list of yours... have phone
Look at that!
Over there.
Sit wherever you like.
Hurry up, everyone.
C'mon, guys, we're running late!
I'm coming!
How are we doing?
Just a few more.
What's up with him?
Due to numerous reports of
they decided to change this
year's test.
Perhaps they got a lot of tips
from concerned citizens.
At least we're all on a level
playing field.
Everyone take your seats...
Do not touch the materials in
front of you until the test
Ok everyone, let's quiet down
We're about to begin.
All right guys, listen; real
This test measures how much you
know, okay?
Maybe... this year I didn't
teach you everything you need to
But you did learn how to think.
So, there might be some things
that you don't recognize...
but there's nothing in this test
you can't figure out.
Got it?
Got it?
Actually there is one thing I
want you to know before you take
this test:
You have all taught me so...
very much.
And I am so very proud of each
and every single one of you.
All right! Now let's go kick
some ass!
You will have three hours to
complete the test.
You should try to answer as many
questions as you can.
Any answers left blank will
count against you
Good luck!
let's begin.
The year before Sergio's
arrival, only 55% of his
students passed the ENLACE in
Math and 69% in Language.
None received a score of
In 2012, after a year with
93% passed the Mathematics
portion, with 63% scoring
and 97.5% passed the Language
portion, with 72% scoring
Ten of Sergio's students scored
in the top 0.1% nationally in
Paloma Noyola achieved the
highest score...
in all of Mexico.
She became a national sensation
and received a private grant
that allowed her to move to a
new home.
Sergio Jurez Correa still lives
in Matamoros
where he continues to teach
sixth grade.
Jos Urbina Lpez Elementary
School still has no computer
Like a flame flickering in the
It's the sand that rises
The sorrow that time heals
And knowing, knowing, knowing,
The sun will rise, come morning
Like the angel of destiny
Casts stones along the way
It's my voice, my light, my
And knowing, knowing, knowing,
The sun will rise, come morning
The laughter that sweetens life
The fight I embrace each new day
All those pearls are hidden
In the darkness they'll remain.
Let's push against the current
Through seas and rivers, a tidal
A strong burst of faith is
what's needed
Where will it lead?
Where will they go?
The light looks at us serene
Restless upon waking
A song that lives and resonates
And knowing, knowing, knowing,
The sun will rise, come morning
It's knowing, knowing, knowing,
The sun will rise, come morning
Knowing, knowing, knowing,
The sun will rise, come morning
The only thing that interferes
with my learning is my
Albert Einstein