The documentary “School” is about the struggle of a minority community trying to keep their language alive in a multicultural village through a little girl who is alone in her class. This documentary shows how diversity in a country is actually a treasure for its population, but this treasure sometimes has positive and sometimes negative reflections on individuals.
The right of education in one’s mother tongue is provided through the Constitution of Kosovo to all of its citizens. Therefore, with the guidance of her family, the 9-year-old Hilal gets enrolled in school in her mother tongue at the Nazım Hikmet school in Dobrçan, but unfortunately, there is no other child in her classroom.
The only person Hilal can socialize with during the day is her teacher, who helps her with her lessons.
Her only friend outside school is Alta, a girl in her neighborhood. She plays games and culturally interacts with her. Since she has no other friends, she entertains herself on social media platforms such as youtube and TikTok. These Platforms have different reflections on her such as learning English from Youtube, dancing from TikTok, etc… As a result, a girl with high self-confidence emerges because of the videos she watches.
Hilal is a 3rd-year elementary student. However, there is also Güney, who is the only 1st-grade student at the same school as Hilal. In the documentary, a place is also reserved for Güney. He is a more introverted child than Hilal, afraid of school and having problems with his loneliness.
Although the state provides teachers who teach the preferred language of these pupils, they still cannot get a quality education by being alone in their classrooms. This is because children need interaction with one another.
The documentary tackles how the rights provided by the government in respect to human rights have in fact had an adverse
effect in the development of these children.
Different metaphors were used in the documentary, reflecting the differences, the value of cultural diversity, and its loss. In 1951, when the Turkish community in Kosovo got their rights, due to a large number of students the school was named after the Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet. The name of this school has still remained the same despite the decrease in the number of Turkish students attending it. Here, we can see the respect of the majority society to the minority society and the value it gives to a culture. The water sounds used in the documentary symbolize the potential of an existing culture, and the tree symbolizes an existing deep-rooted culture. At the end of the documentary, Hilal adapted and read Nazım Hikmet’s poem “Invitation”. It describes how each individual adds a special value to the place where culture lives by living freely, and that differences are the actual treasure.
“To live like a tree alone and free
and in brotherhood like the forests,
this yearning is ours…”
Director: Berkant Curi
Writer: Berkant Curi
Producer: Sezgin Curi
Festival Status: Winner, Best Short Documentary.