Science documentaries face a real challenge when it comes to drawing in an audience that isn’t already committed to caring about science. Finding new ways to say “You should really go see this, it’s not just about science” is often a struggle.
Science Fair is a rare entry in the category because its human elements are so obvious. Teamwork, competition, obstacles to be overcome, and the ultimate high-stakes denouement. Humanity’s at the forefront so often that it’s easy to forget that the film is about science. In fact, all of the basic human issues nearly obscure what the movie’s really about: teenagers on the edge of adulthood struggling through a world that often doesn’t know what to do with them, yet they find their people—the kindred spirits they can finally feel at home with.
The movie is funny, emotional, and touching, with a
theme that just happens to have science as a background. And it’s really, really good.