From immigration issues in early schools to the controversial demise of their widespread use in the 1950s and 1960s, Country School: One Room - One Nation combines visually stunning images of a myriad of restored and decaying buildings?including one designed by Frank Lloyd Wright?with surprising, humorous, and heartwarming stories from former teachers and students. More than just nostalgia, Country School also delves into the dark side of the one-room school experience and dispels the myths behind the revered institution that helped bind a young nation together.
Quad City Times film critic Linda Cook gave the film 4-out-of-4 stars and wrote: "Another documentary gem...vivid and fascinating."
Film reviewer Mike Schulz of the River Cities Reader wrote, "Country School emerges as a definitive portrait of education in a one-room environment, a work that's every bit as informative, engaging and impassioned as those telling its tales."
Country School: One Room - One Nation premiered at the State Historical Building in Des Moines in November 2010 and has been screening throughout the U.S. ever since. The DVD was released regionally in March and a national DVD release is scheduled in the fall through the Passion River Films. Midwestern PBS broadcasts are planned for Country School in 2012.
The filmmakers previously produced the award-winning documentaries Lost Nation: The Ioway and Villisca: Living with a Mystery. They are currently in production on the documentaries Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg and the sequel Lost Nation: The Ioway 2 & 3.
Country School: One Room - One Nation was funded in part by Humanities Iowa, the Kansas Humanities Council, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area.