My Name Is Pedro [Film]


“This award-winning film, from first time director Lillian LaSalle, explores the seemingly impossible journey of South Bronx Latino educator and maverick, Pedro Santana, a former “special ed” student, whose mantra is – every kid can learn despite their circumstances. . A New York Times profile of his “Out Of The Box” teaching techniques, thrusts him into the spotlight, which creates great opportunities for change but also has its downside – public school politics which, despite the cries of students and parents alike, threaten to take him down. A documentary with unpredictable twists and turns, it harnesses a compelling message of optimism, hope and tragedy.” – EG-PR



I have to begin by stating that I had a clear bias going into watching My Name is Pedro. In short, as you read above, it is a beautiful documentary about a teacher who actually gives a shit. Now, I know it seems as though this should be a regularity because, why else would they get into the business of shaping the youth, right? But sadly, it’s not that simple. Just think about the idea that there was a man who cared so deeply for the lives of the children he had contact with every day, was deemed worthy of having an entire New York Times profile done on him, and then a whole documentary? This is symbiotic to the fact that there are some real problems in our public school system that need drastic changes, and at the very least some real attention.

Not too dissimilar from our actual government, corruption and downright narcissism run deep in the public school system. This is a full blown fact that is clear as day in My Name is Pedro. It was actually sickening to see the “loyalty amongst thieves” mentality that was rampantly attempting to keep this great man from doing real good in his community. But what was more awe-inspiring was his perseverance to continue pushing on, and attempting to go beyond the call of duty to affect the lives of those who need it most. To be frank, Pedro Santana was a Christ-like figure. As are all good teachers who actually give a shit, and pour their heart into the act of developing the future.



Producer and Manager Lillian LaSalle has already had an insanely impressive career running  her company Sweet180. And while the subject matter that she worked on as a director in My Name is Pedro could seem like a slow pitch softball toss up, I believe that something needs to be said for what she helped bring to the screen. I speak personally as a somebody constantly seeking out documentaries are equally heartwarming and heartbreaking, My Name is Pedro absolutely nails it! And LaSalle deserves a lot of the credit. Obviously, the editing of a documentary can have a huge effect on how people view the film as a whole, but the vision of what the film will become laid in her hands, and she absolutely killed it.

As corny and hack as it may seem to sound, I will say it….we need more Pedro Santanas. As a guy who has been living alongside a teacher over the years, I know there are horror stories to be known. Also, as corny as it is, the children are our damn future! If there is ever an arena that needs not to be politicized, can we please make it the educational field? Seriously Folks, My Name is Pedro should not only be required viewing for all teachers, but every person who thinks they are worthy of serving on any school board of any kind. This is a film that will provide detailed examples of what to do, and sometimes more importantly, what not to do.


My Name is Pedro will be available on VOD and DVD on February 23rd in the US, Canada, and the UK. VOD options include Amazon, Apple TV, GooglePlay, YouTube, Vimeo On Demand, and FandangoNOW.


About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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