Skip to content

Directed by Andrew Cohn

United Arab Emerites 2016 85 mins. In English

Following three adult students—Melissa, Shynika, and Greg—through their year in a high school diploma program in Indianapolis, Cohn’s tender, empathetic film illustrates the daily struggles of those on the fringes of the official economy. Often shut out of good jobs due to a lack of formal education, students enrolled in these kinds of diploma programs (which are both popping up all over the US and are markedly different than GEDs) seek a better life and increased job opportunity. Cohn both illuminates their particular struggles—dead-end work, street violence, isolation—and teasingly looks at the larger forces at play, prompting us, as citizens, to delve further into these issues facing millions of everyday Americans. “Benefiting greatly from its charismatic, likeable subjects, Night School displays a compassion and empathy that feels more necessary than ever.”—The Hollywood Reporter.

A Voices in Action film.


The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.