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21

FRIDAY

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When I was a student at Philadelphia’s Northeast High School in the late ’80s, I had no idea that my alma mater was the star of Frederick Wiseman’s notorious 1968 documentary High School. People who’ve seen the film tell me of scenes in which the principal gawks at the asses of girls in gym class and the vice principal tells a student that too much individuality is a bad thing. Wiseman’s Zipporah Films Inc. Web site offers this synopsis: “In a large, above-average urban high school, we witness a series of formal and informal encounters between teachers, students, parents, and administrators through which the ideology and values of the school emerge.” Which they must have, because an embarrassed School District of Philadelphia prevented the film from ever seeing a screen in the city. As a resident of the District, I finally have a chance to catch up on my own history. Witness the past that haunts all of us Vikings at noon at the National Archives Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. (202) 501-5000. (Tina Plottel)