100 min | Documentary, Biography
Review - Matt Mungle
**Opens Friday, September 18 at the Angelika Dallas and select theaters.*
Synopsis: Rosenwald is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, who never finished high school, but rose to become the President of Sears. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington, this Jewish philanthropist joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow South to build over 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century. Inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), he gave away $62 million in his lifetime.
The relationship between Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington was a powerful force. They built many a school and gave children, who back then had little or no chance for an education, a better life. The documentary is full of testimonials and praise for this humble man who knew the true meaning of living and giving.
There is lots of stock footage and photos from the early days of racial segregation. I am not sure that stories like this are told much. But they need to be. In this modern day of anger and frustration it is cleansing to see a positive story of man helping man. It shines a bright light on the aspects of business, wealth, history, and service. This isn't about a man who made billions and then decided to give some away. This is about a man who decided to give some away and I feel was blessed for it.
This film is unrated and safe for everyone. Though it may be more interesting to older viewers I can't help but think that young teens will find a meaningful perspective not often taught in the classroom and blogs today.
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