When I reviewed Waiting for Superman at SIFF (and then again on its wide theatrical release in October) I couldn't get on the feel-good train with all the other critics. Here's my biggest problem with the movie:
The film points fingers directly at bad teachers, complaining that it’s impossible to fire them thanks to out-of-control teachers unions. This feels like a way-too-pat answer to a very complex problem...And to point fingers at a union and suggest that workers’ rights are the sole source of difficulty—to make teachers the villain of a movie about the educational system—makes me feel itchy on an ideological level.
Four months later, we have a governor basically declaring that worker's rights are the problem, and now conservative sites like Big Hollywood are using Waiting for Superman as Exhibit A in the public trial against unions:
With what’s happening today in Wisconsin we’re hearing a lot about civil rights and workers rights and all those buzz words the Left uses to make something wicked sound noble. The idea that collective bargaining is some kind of right is beyond absurd...If you want to see first hand a heartbreaking and absolutely frightening look at the human toll of giving these corrupt teachers unions collective bargaining rights, I urge you again to see what is the most important film of last year, the unfairly Oscar-snubbed (for political reasons) ”Waiting for Superman.”
If you loved Waiting for Superman, I would encourage you to watch it again, bearing in mind all the Wisconsin-related developments of the last few weeks. It's an entirely different film now.