Saturday, May 27, 2006

Paper Clips

by Count Olaf

I just saw this move last night after putting it in my Netflix queue an eternity ago. Someone suggested it in the forums back at Hollywood Elsewhere and I immediately became interested and dropped it in the queue right away. It was delayed forever and then released and recalled last year finally to be released again this year.

This is not a deep movie and doesn't get far below the surface for any length of time, but for what it is, it is a great lesson. It shows ignorance does not equal intolerance. It shows the wisdom of a principal who wanted to teach her non-diverse student body about intolerance, injustice & evil. She sent her Asst. Principal to a diversity conference in the big city and he came back with some ideas. They decided to do the Holocaust as a study. Then the kids came up with the paper clips idea (borrowing from Norway) soon after.

It's amazing to watch these kids go to work. It gives me some hope that they're not all stoned-out slackers skating by. Maybe that's just in California...but there's still hope in the rest of the country. And these kids are genuinely interested in finding out about someone different than themselves. It's not that they are intolerant - they just don't have a clue. It was telling to hear one student say that he couldn't believe that some people grew up not knowing their grandparents. Others said they could not believe the atrocity of destroying those who weren't like you. It made them want to find out their prejudices and get rid of them. Some teachers literally break down before you when confronted with their own prejudices.

It moved me to see the German couple so moved. To see the principal, teachers, parents & students hear the survivors' stories for the first time and just fall apart. It warmed my heart to know Middle School children in Tennessee still think of Tom Bosley as a celebrity (haha).

I got a little sense of patriotism - proud to know this goes on in America, etc. But I was also excited to see the international response and helpfulness of the German couple. We've got a lot of good still out there and you can even see it through the 1,600 person strong community of Whitwell Tennessee.

The site of the school memorial: http://www.marionschools.org/holocaust/

2 Comments:

Blogger jaydro said...

This is one of those documentaries that keeps airing on HBO that I keep meaning to watch and I keep not getting around to it. I'll try to make a point to see it now. Thanks, Count!

Oh, crap, looks like it's not airing in the next month, and all evidence of it seems gone from the HBO site. And it was on HBO2 this past Sunday afternoon! Crikey. I may have missed my chance from them.... :-(

5/30/2006 01:14:00 AM  
Blogger jaydro said...

I now see it's going to be on HBO Family a couple of times around July 4th....

6/20/2006 09:31:00 PM  

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