My Name is Pedro

They say that the good guy always wins. What they don’t tell you is that the victory takes on different forms. For instance, we might at first glance feel that Pedro Santana has lost his battle. A battle for quality education for those in economically depressed areas of New York. In what should not be a revolutionary idea he wants children in poorer neighbourhoods to get the same quality of education as those in public schools in the suburbs.

With her first outing director Lillian LaSalle brings us a documentary about a man which all of us should see as a hero. A man who selflessly does good for others. Yet he does not win over everyone.

Using he belief that all kids should get a quality education, especially those in the poorer areas as education is the way out of poverty. Pedro, in his fight for equality, becomes one of the most influential educators in the South Bronx region of New York. His quest is happening at a Bronx middle school, MS 391. He is an administrator at that school. Kids at the school love him. He cares about them. He is committed to them.

Yet when an oversight is discovered about his qualifications, his hiring is brought up at the next board meeting. Many of the students and parents from MS 391 speak in his defense. Tell the board members how vital he has been for the students of the school. How his revoluntionary initiatives have benefited many students. Seems it falls on deaf ears. Or at least closed ones.

Still he inspires. Pedro picks himself up and continues on in his quest to bring quality education to those who don’t have access. He becomes a consultant. An educational consultant who travels to different places in the world to elevate their educational standards. Fighting the good fight. Yet, still he faces another challenge.

An inspiring story of how one person can make a difference. A type of story we are in desperate need of today with all the darkness and despair. The idea that there are good people. Selfless people, who attempt to make the world better for others and not for their own gain.

The documentary starts off slowly then it finds its legs. Really draws you in. You feel the magic of Pedro. You will find your heart filled with hope and at the same time heartbreak. A fascinating watch.

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