Advocacy through Art
Senior Patrick Banker knows film can be a way to spread some pretty important messages.
Over the past two years, the cinema and communications dual major worked closely with Northeastern psychology professor Louis Kruger to create a documentary on MCAS—Massachusetts’s controversial test administered to all public-school students in the Commonwealth.
“The MCAS is like Massachusetts’s ‘No Child Left Behind,’ where if students don’t pass, they can’t get their diploma,” Banker explains. “Through our research and interviews, we found that it’s not fair to certain groups of people, like kids who are disabled, are from poor neighborhoods, or don’t have their foreign-language skills up to snuff.”
As cinematographer and assistant producer, Banker filmed 90 percent of the footage and edited the trailer, mastering new skills in lighting and camera-work.
But more importantly, he learned about a pressing local youth issue, and how his art can make a difference.
“I’m pretty fervent in my beliefs, but we did our best to make sure that we presented a balanced argument,” he says. “The issue hasn’t been in the papers for a long time, so we’re trying to raise awareness and have as many people see the film as possible. It’s important that the issue doesn’t get forgotten.”