STEALING SCHOOL Film Review — Racism Or Self-Interest?

It was two years ago. Keith calls in April to talk about her essay. He notices that one of her paragraphs looks striking similar to an old essay from the previous year. She suggests she has never seen that old essay before, and he lets her get off the hook. Fast forward to a year later, and the same issue persists. But this time, he won’t let her go.

Three people from the university stare her down. She looks lost, looking to the left of her to see her history professor, Professor Thorton, and his teaching assistant, Keith. Keith looks back at her with menacing eyes, anxious to penalize her for what she’s done, or hasn’t done. A bunch of Caucasian people in the room against one Asian woman. This doesn’t look too good. Their eyes turn back to the front of the room, and it’s time for the trial to begin.

April Chen, a computer programming genius at Dupont University is a senior ready to graduate within a week. There’s only one thing stopping her: her teacher’s assistant accusing her of plagiarizing her history essay in front of an academic tribunal. Now here she is, in front of a professor with a grudge against her teacher, a faculty member who’s worried about losing her job due to implied racial bias, and another undergrad student who has nothing better to do to decide if she is innocent or not. It’s the battle of the witnesses. Who will be more convincing?

STEALING SCHOOL Uses Comedy To Reveal A Deeper Problem 

When your entire family is flying to Canada from China expecting to see you walk across the big stage for a diploma, anything threatening that chance leads to desperate measures. In Stealing School, this comical film shows us how far one will go to keep up with their own deceit. We begin to question everyone’s integrity from beginning to end. Stealing School is not what it seems, despite how the scenes build up. You’ll begin to question who you’re really supposed to be rooting for.

From pervy professors and slight sexist remarks to microaggressions, suspect news reporters, and underlying messages about the value of a liberal arts education, every scene peels back a new prejudiced layer. After all the questions asked in the trial, by the end, you’ll still have one question left: was justice really served? At what cost?


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Celine Tsai as April
Jonathan Keltz as Keith
Mpho Koaho as Micah
Darrin Baker as Professor Richard
Michelle Monteith as Deborah
Jonathan Malen as Josh
Matthew Edison as Professor Thorton

Watch the film STEALING SCHOOL on Vudu
Photos courtesy of STEALING SCHOOL


Writer/Director/Producer: Li Dong
Music: Virginia Kilbertus
Executive Producer: William Woods
Editor: Graham Tucker

Breanna Henry

About the Author: Breanna Henry

Almost 10 years ago Breanna sat in her tiny room she shared with her younger sister in Houston, Texas writing songs, stories, and poems on the rough carpet. She mimicked songs she heard on the radio and imitated books she's read from the Scholastic Book Fair. By fifth grade, she knew creative writing would soon be her passion. Now a sophomore at Loyola University New Orleans, she has published works on her university's newspaper, literary journal, and on her own blog. When she's not writing and working towards her Mass Communication and English Writing degree, she's watching Criminal Minds re-runs, doing photoshoots with friends, and dancing wildly in her dorm room while music blasts through her speakers.

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