The final cut of Welcome to Commie High, directed by former AAFF Executive Director, Donald Harrison, will have its world premiere as a special program at the 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival! This independent documentary film about one of the longest-running alternative public schools, Community High School (aka, Commie High), will be shown on Saturday, March 28 at 5pm in the Michigan Theater's main auditorium.
Started as experiment in public education during the early 1970s, Ann Arbor's Community High fought to stay open until the 1990s, when demand for this alternative school led to a craze of lines, camping and lottery systems. Now standing as one of the only surviving schools of the free school movement, the "Commie High" model has evolved and continues to reflect the world around it.
“A real benefit of this project is that I did not attend Community High School, which surprises a lot of people. If I had gone I would’ve had a particular experience from a certain era and I’m an early 90s high school kid. I got intrigued when I met a friend of a friend. They mentioned that they camped out for two weeks in the mid-90s to go to this school (Community High School). I couldn’t understand why people would camp out to go to public school. They said, ‘Oh I loved going to high school.’ And I didn’t have that experience."––Donald Harrison