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film review

In 1993, 16-year-old Brandon Lee enrolled at Bearsden Academy, a secondary school in a well-to-do suburb of Glasgow, Scotland.Courtesy of Mongrel Media

  • My Old School
  • Written and directed by Jono McLeod
  • Featuring Alan Cumming
  • Classification N/A; 104 minutes
  • Opens in select theatres July 29

Critic’s Pick

It’s safe to assume that most of us would consider returning to high school an actual nightmare. Especially since our teen years are typically the most turbulent; an era defined by insecurity and social awkwardness. And yet, filmmaker Jono McLeod presents us with someone who obviously felt the opposite in My Old School, a captivating documentary about the now-infamous Scottish schoolboy Brandon Lee, who turned out to be someone much different.

What followed over the next two years became the stuff of legend.Courtesy of Mongrel Media

Using animation, first-person accounts by Lee’s former classmates, and Alan Cumming as the face of Lee’s narration, the film uses this sensational tale to compassionately explore why people deceive and how perspective can fuel empathy.

An interesting tale on its own, My Old School brings a unique sense of humanity to a story that, in less responsible hands, may have felt like an exercise in exploitation. Instead, McLeod’s work is funny, warm, engaging and thoughtful, making this documentary a far cry from the harrows of high school.

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