According to the statistics presented in the documentary Two Million Minutes, the time elapsed between eighth grade graduation and high school graduation is two million minutes. It beggars the mind to consider that a certain panderer of calendars spent two million minutes listening to Iron Maiden whilst leading expeditions to the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl -- a life well-lived, indeed. But what do ambitious students who dream of real-world success do with this span of time? That is the question addressed by filmmaker Adam Raney.
Three sets of male and female high schoolers hailing from China, India and the United States are followed and interviewed. It becomes clear that while they all experience the same doubts and pressures of adolescence, the high school experience in China and India is a bit more demanding. Less than 18 percent of American students pursue advanced classes in applied sciences such as physics or chemistry, even if their school offers them; in China, these classes are de rigueur. It should surprise no one that China now produces eight times as many scientists as America does. India produces only three times as many as we do.
Two million minutes seems like a huge chunk of time -- but is it enough? Two Million Minutes screens at 7 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-756-4599 or www.mohistory.org). Admission is free. After the film, producer Adam Raney discusses the making of Two Million Minutes and the current state of the American educational system.
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