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The School Bus review: Finding power in being self-reliant

Release Date: 2019 / 14min

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Ramazan Kılıç’s short film follows the struggle of a young school teacher to get transportation for her students.

There is something reassuring about battles conquered by the righteous, no matter how small they are. Turkish filmmaker Ramazan Kılıç’s short film The School Bus, tells the story of an infuriating tussle with bureaucracy, which is resolved in the most resourceful way. 

Nebahat, a young teacher, has been appointed to a rural village school in Anatolia. It’s a place where getting a cell phone reception is a struggle. Not only is she the teacher, but she is also the ‘headmaster’ of the tiny school. 

With no means of transportation, the children struggle to reach school, often travelling at the back of tractors along with sheep. Nebahat puts in a request with the authorities for a school bus for the children but she did not ask for a driver and thus, just the bus arrives, with nobody to drive it! She must find a way to utilise the bus and ensure that the children get to use it and attend school.

Written and directed by Kılıç, the short film offers a glimpse into remote areas where simply reaching one’s place of education is a struggle. The school inspector gives a glimpse into gender roles and expectations as the young teacher decides to be self-reliant and takes charge of the situation. In a picturesque long shot, the end of the film gives us a perspective about distances travelled by the children every day and the significance of transportation for them.

The School Bus has been screened at several international film festivals and has won twelve awards including the Best Fiction Award at the Adana Golden Boll Film Festival's National Student Film Competition, and the Best Film Award at France's Arte Mare - Mediterranean Film Festival. It is being screened at the Palm Springs International ShortFest, which is being held from 22-28 June.


Related topics

Palm Springs Short Festival

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