When It Breaks Image

When It Breaks

By Alan Ng | April 30, 2020

Hypothetically, you have a choice to make. Would you rather be a teacher or be a rock star? That’s the question posed in Todd Tue’s documentary, When It Breaks, and the answer is not as easy or apparent as you may think.

Tue’s subject is special education teacher Konrad Wert, who moonlights as a folk-rock musician traveling under the name of Possessed by Paul James. At the start of the documentary, Konrad has just stepped down from his teacher’s role and hopped in an RV with his wife, Jenny, and two children. They are going to travel across America as Konrad performs in small concert venues from city to city. Jenny continues to be an artist but mostly homeschools the kids along the way.

“has just stepped down from his teacher’s role and hopped in an RV with his wife…and two children.”

You would think that the lure of fame is what Konrad is chasing, but in actuality, his concerts have a purpose. Each night, he gets to sing and talk about the severe education problem that sweeps America. Not only are schools constantly battling budget issue with their respective states, but worse, there is hardly any money available for special needs students, teachers, and aides. Konrad sings for the teachers, who in his eyes are unsung heroes and ignored victims in this battle for funding.

Throughout the film, as Konrad travels to the next city, he takes time to talk with teachers about their struggles. As Konrad’s message and tour gain momentum, more and more teachers come to the concerts to hear music and receive encouragement.

When It Breaks (2020)

Directed and Written: Todd Tue

Starring: Konrad Wert, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

When It Breaks Image

"…he’ll hold your attention, and you’ll hear an abundance of inspiring stories…"

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