In Loco Parentis/School Life

Tuesday 19 September 2017 8pm

Dir: Neasa Ní Chianáin, David Ran Ireland 2017

Language: English  Running time: 100 mins  Cert: 18

Starring: John and Amanda Leyden, Headfort school

Supported By: The Westmeath Independent

"In the verdant village of Kells, Ireland, there's an antidote to the dark times we live in—a worn and weathered boarding school with a special magic. At the heart of the school is a bemused elderly couple, John and Amanda Leyden, who have taught with equal parts seriousness and silliness for more than 40 years. The delight of In Loco Parentis is watching the pair undertake beloved teaching rituals, from performing the writings of great authors to coaching a fledgling rock band, like donning a favourite jumper.

The couple’s kindness and inventiveness usher national school–age children, hailing from around the world, through patches of loneliness and angst. Although the Leydens pretend to dread loud, screaming kids, the truth is they cannot go a day without them.

But even the most beautiful traditions wane. As John and Amanda ponder retirement, unapologetically chain-smoking in their ivy-covered cottage, the film poses a quietly profound question: Will their intimate and caring cultivation of future generations live on, or will it vanish like so many community-centered practices?" - Sundance Film Festival 2017