Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jaime Escalante - Farwell

If there had ever been StrangeCultureBlog in 1988 you would have seen a "reel people post" about Edward James Olmos playing the part of Jaime Escalante.

Jamie Escalante wasn't anyone you may have known about until the film Stand and Deliver came out that told Escalante's story, a true story about an inner-city math teacher in one of the roughest schools in LA who taught struggling students math and helped them earn passing scores on the Advanced Placement Calculus exam.

Because of the nature of the school and the students there was much controversy over the scores and the passing students retook the test to prove there scores were not earned in error.

Jamie, the real teacher played by Oscar nominated Olmos, died yesterday of bladder cancer in Sacramento. At the age of 79.

If there was ever a reason for biopics it is for inspiration films like Stand and Deliver. Inspiration is far more inspirational when it's real and told in an engaging way.

Jamie, thank you for your story and life. Ramon Mendez and Tom Musca, thank you for telling it in your film.
Top picture is Olmos in the film, picture to the right is Jamie Escalante.


Lorna said...

good reminder---I tend to avoid biopics if I think I already know the message. and with this one, I didn't know.

Megan said...

There's a building over by MacArthur Park that has a painting of him on it, and a big thank you. I think it's on Alvarado...I'll have to see if I can get a shot of it this weekend.

RC said...

@ Megan - that's pretty cool if you do get a pic let me know!