Young Plato

It’s like “Dead Poets Society” set in Belfast’s toughest neighborhood.

The headmaster is part Socrates, part Rocky Balboa.

Kevin McArevey’s philosophy lessons aren’t just changing kids — they’re shaking up an entire community.


Trailer for “Young Plato”

Watch “Young Plato”

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  • My Rating: 96/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7.9/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: 100/100 (Users); 100/100 (Critics)

Review of “Young Plato”

“Young Plato” is an unexpected gem. The documentary transports us to Belfast’s Ardoyne. This community is deeply scarred by past violence.

Here, we meet Kevin McArevey. He is the headmaster of Holy Cross Boys’ Primary School.

His mission is unconventional and inspiring. He uses ancient Greek philosophy to transform lives.

McArevey’s approach is refreshing and revolutionary. He encourages his pupils to question everything. They think critically and find their own voices. Philosophers like Socrates and Plato become tools. They aid in personal growth and community healing. McArevey believes philosophy can break cycles of violence.

McArevey emphasizes philosophy, empathy, and visualization. His focus is on positivity. But kids are punished too. Five kids ganged up on one. They had to sit out recess for a week. McArevey reads The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday for guidance. One boy hit another because his dad advised it. McArevey teaches the kids to think independently. They shouldn’t just follow their parent’s advice.

The film deftly balances heavy themes with humor. McArevey’s charisma makes philosophy accessible and engaging. He turns complex ideas into relatable lessons. His interactions with students are touching. They are often amusing too. We witness students transform. They become more confident and empathetic. Engaging with philosophy makes them hopeful.

In one poignant scene, McArevey discusses justice. He relates it to their experiences in Ardoyne. The boys, aged 8 to 11, engage in debates. They bring up issues of fairness and retaliation. One student questions the morality of revenge. This prompts a deep class discussion.

The cinematography captures Ardoyne’s gritty character. It contrasts harsh streets with the school’s hopeful atmosphere.

The colorful classrooms are a sanctuary. The soundtrack adds an authentic touch. It features local tunes and traditional Irish music.

Directors Neasa Ní Chianáin and Declan McGrath craft a masterful narrative.

They explore personal stories of students and families. The film highlights impacts of the Troubles. Families have lost loved ones to violence. McArevey’s teachings help them cope. The film’s message is optimistic. Education and open-mindedness foster change.

McArevey’s use of philosophy extends beyond school. He organizes community meetings for philosophical discussions.

These sessions often become emotional. Participants share personal stories and struggles. They find solace and strength in philosophy.

“Young Plato” is about the power of education. It shows the timeless relevance of philosophy. The film challenges views on conflict resolution.

It highlights critical thinking’s role in life. Teaching kids to think independently is crucial. Especially in conflict-marked environments.

This documentary is a must-watch. It offers heart, humor, and hope. By the end, viewers appreciate McArevey’s work. They see Ardoyne’s resilience.

“Young Plato” reminds us of education’s enduring value. Philosophy builds a compassionate, thoughtful society.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly

Chief Maniac, Daily Doc