Movie Review- First Generation: a film students can relate to

Elizabeth Fernandez, Reporter

“First Generation” follows four American high school students as they graduate and become the first members from their families to go to college; it’s a film most Bakersfield College students can relate to. Two of the students featured are from Kern County, which literally brings the film closer to home.
The documentary is a real eye-opener as it reveals that 74 percent of four-year institution populations are made up of students from higher-income backgrounds, while the lower barely make a mere 3 percent of that up. An extensive amount of lower-income students, as it turns out, are discouraged from even applying to “bigger” schools because they think cost will be too high.
This film does superbly at illustrating and getting points across that will let viewers know there are more opportunities available to them. And unlike the kids in the film, they’ll be a little more aware of their options.
Mind you, the film doesn’t give step-by-step instructions on how to apply for affordable college, but it does expose the struggles the students faced.
There is something in each of the four journeys that you will surely be able to relate to. They are all so different and yet ultimately bare similar burdens that plague the first generation college student.
Our families either can’t afford or can’t support us, and even when they do, a lot of times they just don’t know how.
I believe this film would be of huge benefit to our community if we began showing it in our high school programs as well.
It is rather unfortunate BC had to pay a fee for each showing. Otherwise, the film might have had a longer exposure time for more students to attend.
BC estimates that nearly 80 percent of students and faculty – that’s right – are first generation. The film is not only pertinent to us, but also did what I expect any good documentary to do – raise awareness in regard to its topic.

4 out of 5 stars