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Our School follows three Roma (commonly known as "Gypsy") children in a rural Transylvanian village who are among the pioneer participants in an initiative to integrate the ethnically segregated Romanian schools. When their district is ordered desegregated, Alin, Benjamin, and Dana set out for the city school, optimistic for education and new friendships, even as funds earmarked for integration are questionably used to build a "Roma-only" school in their village. Their innocent optimism quickly sours when the children are met with baseless ostracism from peers and teachers alike.

Shot over four years, the filmmakers' tender portrait of rural village life and its rhythms fosters an intimacy in the children's profound reality and admiration for their indomitable spirit, which is then punctuated with shocking instances of prejudice and ignorance. Their story touches on issues ranging from institutionalized racism, public education, and the intractability of poverty, culminating in an outrageous finale that cements the Roma children's struggle in the annals of egregious human rights violations. Our School is an absorbing, infuriating, and ultimately bittersweet story of tradition and progress.

Film Information
Year: 2011
Length: 93 minutes
Language: Romanian
Country: USA, Romania, Switzerland
Premiere: North American
Cast & Credits
Primary Cast: Alin Moldovan, Beniamin Lingurar, Dana Varga
Director: Mona Nicoara, Miruna Coca-Cozma
Producer: Mona Nicoara, Miruna Coca-Cozma
Editor: Erin Casper
Director of Photography: Ovidiu Marginean
Executive Producer: Julie Goldman
Composer: Sasha Gordon
Co-Producer: Miruna Coca-Cozma
Supervising Editor: Jonathan Oppenheim
Consulting Editor: Carol Dysinger
Press Contacts
Special Note


Co-hosted by

Romanian Cultural Institute


About the Director(s)
MONA NICOARA was born in Ineu, Romania. She has been a human rights activist since the 1989 revolution that overthrew Ceausescu. She started working in film as an associate producer on the Oscar®-nominated doc Children Underground. MIRUNA COCA-COZMA was born in Bucharest and has worked as a journalist for Antena 1, TVR, TSR, and France 5, most recently on the hour-long documentary Omar Porras: Sorcier de la Scene.


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