Frederick Wiseman’s High School: 50th Anniversary 35mm Screening


GPJFF38 – From the Vaults
In Partnership with Penn Cinema and Media Studies
Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Time: 7 PM
Location: Lightbox Film Center

Director: Frederick Wiseman
Genre: Narrative Feature
Country: USA
Year: 1968
Running Time: 1 hr 15 min
Language: In English

General Admission: $15
Seniors: $13
Northeast High School Class of ’68: $7
Students: $7 (*for our rules and regulations on Student tickets, click HERE)
I-House Residents: Free (*residential ID must be presented in-person)

Buy Tickets HERE

Hailed as one of the most important and original filmmakers working today, Frederick Wiseman’s decades-long exploration of “the American institution” has influenced documentary filmmakers from the United States to Israel (THE MUSEUM, screening at the Gershman Y on Sunday, November 18, as part of the 38th Annual Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, owes much to Wiseman in its multi-angle approach to documenting Jerusalem’s Israel Museum).

What really happens within the walls of an American high school? Famed documentarian Frederick Wiseman (Titicut Follies, Hospital) answers that question in this fascinating look inside Philadelphia’s Northeast High School, where students clash with their teachers and teachers wage their own battles against the administration. Wiseman delves into the everyday struggle some teachers face to discipline their unruly charges, as well as the prevalent student apathy observed in classrooms where students are found staring into space, languid and uninspired. In observing these everyday interactions, it is easy to see how schools succeed in transmitting social values from one generation to another.

Enshrined on the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, HIGH SCHOOL enthralls as a document of the times, a nostalgic reminder of what our own high school experience was like, and perhaps, most importantly, as a witness to the ways schools affect the predominant value systems within society.

Special Guests: Tim Corrigan, Professor of English and Cinema Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; Joel Gibbs, award-winning radio & TV writer/producer/director and host of Moviemania, a nationally-syndicated talk radio program.



  • “A wicked, brilliant documentary.” (Richard Schickel, Life)
  • “The most frightening thing about High School is that it captures the battlefield so clearly; the film is too true.” (Peter Janssen, Newsweek)
  • “The high school is the very heart of America, and Wiseman has captured its strength and rhythm perfectly.” (Edgar Z. Friedenberg, The New York Review of Books)