Parents' Guide to

Silent Rose

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Racial justice docudrama is authentic but uneven.

Movie NR 2020 60 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Realistic Portrayal of Highschool Issues

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Emerging documentarian Mitch Dickman has created a time capsule piece here, a reenactment drama that has an innovative concept but a frustrating execution. Filming mostly in black and white, Dickman has former occupants of a real Denver high school -- students, teacher, and principal -- re-enact the campus dynamics surrounding the 2016 presidential election. Whatever technique he used, he managed to pull authentic performances out of non-actors. If you didn't know better, you'd think you were watching a documentary.

But there's a lot in Silent Rose that doesn't hit the mark. The use of black and white detracts from the impact in notable ways. First, some characters' ethnicity is unclear in a story in which that definitely matters. And, second, like it or not, few things turn teens off faster than watching a film in black and white. On the other hand, the cinematography may appeal more to kids than to adults. Faces are only partially in frame -- in one particularly frustrating scene, Shatira swings in and out of frame, while viewers can only see her boyfriend's body and chin. And the first 45 minutes are pretty boring -- things really only pick up the last 10 minutes. This one-hour production seems designed to get teens talking, but it's hard to imagine young people engaging with the film without being forced to by parents or educators. The true value of Silent Rose is to adults who want to understand the impact of school shootings, the ushering in of the Trump era, and the stirrings of activism of high schoolers in the latter half of the 2010s.

Movie Details

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