June 25, 2005

The Education of Shelby Knox

It's been awhile since I've seen a documentary as uplifting and entertaining as The Education of Shelby Knox, which aired this week on the PBS series, POV, in many cities. The summary on the POV website puts it perfectly:

"A self-described "good Southern Baptist girl," 15-year-old Shelby Knox pledges abstinence until marriage, yet becomes an unlikely advocate for comprehensive sex ed in her school."

The film wisely doesn't try to explain how a miraculous child grows in Lubbock, Texas. But it can't hurt that both her parents, conservative Republicans, are just as heroic -- supporting their daughter even when they don't agree with her views. There are plenty of villains, too, but they are no less human. And the directors, two New York women of a certain age, capture the earnestness and idiocy of school politics without the slightest trace of condescension.

Many PBS stations are rebroadcasting The Education of Shelby Knox in the coming week. You can check here.