Maggie Gyllenhaal premiered her controversial new film, Won't Back Down on Sunday in New York City, ready and prepared to defend the education reform themed project from protesters who believe the drama blames failing inner-city schools on teachers.
As expected, the screening drew a crowd of protestors but Gyllenhaal held firm to her belief that the passionate flick, based on real-life situations, will inspire discussion rather than lay responsibility onto any one group.
"This movie is in support of organized protest and the power that it can have," said the star in regards to criticism brought about by various teacher's unions unhappy with the film. "You can be absolutely supportive of unions in general, which I think have served our country so well, and at the same time believe that there are things inside this particular union that need to shift in order for our children to get the things that they need."
Adds co-star Rosie Perez, "One thing that I want everyone to understand is that we are not pointing a finger at one part of the system. We are saying, 'Lets stop and examine the system in its entirety and see all the problems that have contributed to public education and let's fix it.'"
In theaters everywhere September 28, Won't Back Down casts Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis as determined mothers who decide to take matters into their own hands for the sake of their children, who are faltering in their inner city school. Faced with a stubborn bureaucracy mired in traditional thinking, the parents risk everything to buck the system and create their own school.
Holly Hunter, Oscar Isaac, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Lance Reddick and Ving Rhames also star.