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Civic Cinema – Lean On Me

Civic Cinema, a project of the Florida Theatre, presents issue-oriented classic films exploring topics of interest to our community, followed by a panel discussion of local experts.  This edition of Civic Cinema presents the film Lean On Me(1989) is based on the story of Joe Louis Clark, the principal of an inner city high school in Paterson, NJ, at risk of being taken over by the state unless Minimum Basic Skills Test scores improve. The movie is directed by John G. Avildsen who won an Academy Award for Best Director in 1977 for Rocky and directed the first three The Karate Kid movies, stars Morgan Freeman and was written by Michael Schiffer.

Admission is FREE

In this fact-based film, a New Jersey superintendent, Dr. Frank Napier (Robert Guillaume), watches helplessly as East Side High becomes the lowest-ranked school in the state. With nowhere else to turn, Dr. Napier enlists maverick ex-teacher Joe Clark (Morgan Freeman) to take over as principal of the declining school. Unfortunately for Clark, before he can focus on improving the student body’s state exam scores, he has to somehow rid the school of its gang and narcotics problems.

Civic Cinema is sponsored by Times-Union Media.

The film will be followed by panel discussion of educational issues in Jacksonville with Dr. Diana Greene, Duval County Public Schools Superintendent; Rev. Kimberly L. Hyatt, President & CEO of Cathedral Arts Project; and Rachael Tutwiler Fortune, President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.


21 Feb
Thursday 7:00 pm
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