School Life

Invited

For more than 40 years, John and Amanda Leyden have taught children at Headfort, a rare Irish primary-age boarding school. When the film opens, the new school year is just beginning. Boys and girls bid farewell to their parents, the pangs of their uncertainty palpable. But the air of possibility hovers above the creaking floorboards—here, there is potential for each and every child. Over the course of a year, we observe the wonder the Leydens bring to their classrooms and roll with the joys and challenges that the changing seasons bring their young pupils. The film also captures the essence of the spaces they occupy—most poignantly a band clubroom where John spends hours desperately coaching inharmonious musicians through pop song melodies. Throughout, the couple delicately navigate the needs of their young wards, sharing the occasional cigarette while they discuss the intricacies of instilling both scholastic rigor and emotional support. With grace and humor, this vérité portrait submerges us in the ebb and flow of this special place and two teachers at the heart of its magic.  ST

Director

Neasa Ní Chianáin

Co-director

David Rane

Producer

David Rane

Editor

Mirjam Strugalla

Cinematographer

Neasa Ní Chianáin

Original Title

In Loco Parentis

Release Year

2016

Festival Year

2017

Country

Ireland, Spain

Run Time

99 minutes

Subtitled

No