See how the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey, in the heart of one of America's most dangerous cities, are able to achieve amazing success with the most vulnerable population: inner city African American and Latino teenage males.  While Newark, NJ, with a high poverty rate of 32%, has an abysmal high school graduation rate, St. Benedict's Prep has a near 100% COLLEGE ACCEPTANCE rate.  The film details how their "recipe for success" follows the 6th century Rule of Saint Benedict and how this rule can serve as a model for whole cities nationwide.  86 min.

THE RULE brilliantly connects multiple audiences from varying backgrounds and points of view to issues of urban school reform in the public sector."

Anand R. Marri, Ph.D.

Teachers College, Columbia University

“At Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, we’ve long recognized the value of film in teaching and educating the next generation of medical students. THE RULE takes this to another level and should be part of any curriculum that promotes health and wellness.”

Anthony Tobia, MD

Dept. of Psychiatry, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

"Students loved THE RULE.  Lots of great feedback about how inspiring it was in terms of their work with similar (and also different) populations. It was extremely relevant to our course and to the internships many of the students are in."

                                              Marina Gelfand, Ph.D.

                                   Dept. of Psychology, Rutgers University

“School psychologists work with students who struggle with learning, by teaming with caring adults in schools and communities to identify and reduce the barriers to learning such as trauma, poverty, gangs, and a lack of services. THE RULE showcases how one urban community works to successfully address these barriers and gives viewers a model that fosters hope for young men of color. After a recent screening, an early career school psychologist from south central Los Angeles declared that her dedication to serving her home town was confirmed with renewed energy.”

Susan Gorin, CAE

Executive Director, National Association of School Psychologists

On National PBS

in association with


"This uplifting documentary

offers a rare ray of hope in its

portrait of an urban school

that’s defying the odds"

-Frank Scheck

The Hollywood Reporter

“Startling success”

-Daphne Howland

The Village Voice

“Powerful new film”

-Naomi Schaefer Riley

New York Post


In Theaters

  1. QUAD CINEMA NYC   Fall 2014

  2. LAEMMLE ENCINO LA   Sept. 12 - 18/14

  3. PORT THEATRE Canada  Feb. 2015

  1. Premiere Sept. 25, 2014

  2. check local listings

See Promo with  Kevin O’Connor of 
This Old House

In Festivals

“This uplifting film offers hope for inner-city youth and is highly recommended for all audiences, especially educators and aspiring educators.”

Library Journal

Selected by

White House Initiative

on Educational Excellence for African Americans

visit U.S. Department of Education website for more info
Marylou &  Jerome Bongiorno  at TEDxNJIT

Around the World

Hungary Public TV
Curriculum GuideCurriculum.html
PRESS RELEASETHE_RULE_files/THE%20RULE-PR%20WHIEEAA%20Screening%202.8.16%20.pdf
Soros Ed Center, Romania
listen to radio interview