Coming Monday, ‘Try Harder!’ explores top college admissions

Steamboat Pilot & Today
The documentary, “Try Harder!” focuses on the admissions process to America’s top universities through the lens of high school seniors. A free screening of the film is coming to the Bud Werner Library on Monday, April 11.
Courtesy photo

The Bud Werner Library’s Indie Lens Pop-Up series will continue with a free screening off “Try Harder!” at 6 p.m. Monday, April 11, in Library Hall.

At Lowell High School, the top public high school in San Francisco, college admission is at its most competitive within its high achieving student body — nearly 70% Asian American — as they work tirelessly to get into their dream schools.

“Try Harder!” comes from filmmaker Debbie Lum, who seeks to pull back the curtain on the college application process and the intersection of class, race and opportunity through the eyes of high school seniors applying to America’s top schools.

Alongside the students, Lum also spotlights parents who take different approaches toward their children’s career paths and identities outside of academics, and the teachers who just want the best for their students. The film is a portrait of young adults in the most diverse American generation ever, as they navigate the external and internal pressures of growing up and figuring out their futures.

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