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A scene from the movie Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker
Genre Documentary
Running Time 99 min
MPAA rating Unrated
Release Date May 27, 2009
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Pressure Cooker

Fighting to overcome the challenges of broken homes, abusive pasts, and financial burdens, three inner-city seniors at Philadelphia's Frankford High School find an unlikely champion in the kitchen of Wilma Stephenson. A legend in the school system, Mrs. Stephenson is a force to be reckoned with, and her boot camp method of teaching Culinary Arts is not for the faint of heart. Under her fierce direction, the usual distractions of high school-the cheerleading practices, football games, and school dances-are… Show more

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Sept. 10, 2010 - Boston.com - Wesley Morris, Globe Staff

America’s most famous tough-love arts teacher is probably Ms. Grant, the dance instructor Debbie Allen played in “Fame.’’ But I really wouldn’t want to see what Wilma Stephenson would do to her. Stephenson is the culinary arts instructor at Frankford High School in Northeast Philadelphia and the core of Mark Becker and Jennifer Grausman’s “Pressure Cooker,’’ a very entertaining documentary about a year in her program. She’s a chic, light-skinned black woman with a short, sharp haircut, and of apparently small stature, although most of her male students could play a professional sport. What she lacks in height is made up for in volume.

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