Testing Hope was profiled on the
National Public Radio show "Tell Me More."
To listen to the interview, click here:


"A moving documentary following four born-frees shows how Matric is seen as their ticket out of poverty." ...see full article
—Drum Magazine, July 10, 2008


"A new film looks at how poverty-stricken kids see Grade 12 as the key to their dreams." ...see full article
—The Sunday Times, May 25, 2008


"A film that followed four Grade 12 pupils through their final year has led to an outcry that South Africa's education system is in crisis and that something drastic needs to be done to save it…" ...see full article
—The Star, May 23, 2008


"South Africa‘s teachers and teachers‘ unions are behind the low matric pass rate and the dysfunction of township schools, Witwatersrand University education expert Prof Jonathan Jansen said yesterday. He was speaking during a discussion among educators after the showing in Johannesburg of a documentary film by Molly Blank, entitled Testing Hope…" ...see full article
—The Herald, Port Elizabeth, May 23, 2008


"[Molly Blank] listened to them as they talked of becoming 'someone' in life and of why they deserved a bite at the future. And what she has brought to the...screen now is this latest struggle of South Africa's youth." ...see full article
—The Johannesburg Star, March 10, 2007


"In a brilliant new documentary...an American filmmaker
traces the lives, hopes and aspirations... of black teenagers during...their matric year.It is a heartbreaking story, and nobody who watches this hour long film will ever again interpret the matric results with the unrestrained exuberance to which we are treated every year."
...see full article
—The Sunday Independent, December 31, 2006



"I cannot recall in many, many years a South African documentary film that has had more generative power.

Testing Hope has touched a raw nerve in our post-1994 democracy -- that despite all the busyness of educational reform and policymaking, most township schools remain more or less in the same material position as under apartheid.

What drives many to action upon seeing this film is that we realize, in a very vivid way, how high the stakes really are for poor students and the dramatic consequences of failure for individuals, families and ultimately society as a whole. This movie is activism in its purest form."
—Jonathan Jansen, immediate past Dean of Education, University of Pretoria


"Testing Hope is a compelling documentary that illuminates the centrality of assessment and belief in meritocracy in South African high schools today.This is a must-see film for American audiences who view education as a way to change inequality, and for those who hold an unquestioning view of the authority of testing.

Director Molly Blank powerfully tells us of the lives of four students and the current conditions of their schools, placing student achievement in light of the country's historical experience with apartheid, against the backdrop of the wide-spread public belief that education can and will bring about social change.

Testing Hope offers an honest and sincere portrayal of the persistent inequality in under-resourced township schools in contrast with formerly white "model C" schools.Yet, the film is striking not only in its contrasts, but in its questioning of the national embrace of this high stakes assessment."
Carol Ann Spreen, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia


"My students were mesmerized. This is a must see documentary for students who seek to understand the cultural and educational issues that confront South Africans as they grapple with post-apartheid life."
Robert Mathis, Social Studies Resource Teacher,
Whitman High School, Bethesda, MD


"By showing the truth as it is, you have reached the whole South Africa. The most important thing is that your film is helping us as Departmental Officials to reconsider our support and assistance to schools, to find new ways and strategies to develop educators and to look into the poverty of our communities…. Thank you so much, you will never be able to realize and understand how this film has brought diverse cultures in the Department of Education closer."
Meps Esterhuizen, Northern Cape Department of Education, South Africa