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March 26, 2004 - Image 66

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-03-26

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2003 • 110 min. • English • Color • Great Britain/USA

8 p.m.

Sponsored by Harold and Sarah Gottlieb
Festival Introduction by Terry Lawson

This is a very special screening in
many ways. First, it is the Festival's
main attraction; the film we most want
you to see, and we are showing it in
two theatres simultaneously at the
United Artists Theatre. Second, it is the
2004 winner of the Harold and Sarah
Gottlieb Prize for Contributions to
Jewish Culture, and a distinguished
contribution it is. And third, because
tonight is Erev Yom HaZikaron, and
Tuesday is Yom Ha'Atzmaut, this is the
film that bridges these two special
days, and it does so not just in name
but in content as well.

This astonishing, simple, almost awe-inspiring film, start-
ed in 1998 when eighth graders in the small town of
Whitwell, Tennessee, began a school project to com-
memorate Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

After Whitwell's associate principal attended a teacher-
training course, he and other faculty decided to teach
the school's largely white, Protestant student population
about the Holocaust and issues of hate and intoler-
ance. Initially they used texts such as Anne Frank's Diary
of a Young Girl, but they also wanted to devise a way
to help the kids grasp the enormity of the "Final

Inspired by a history lesson, the children and teachers
decided to collect six million paper clips—one for each
Jewish victim of the Nazis, Then the entire school
became involved, counting the paper clips storing
them, and answering every single letter and e-mail,
Finally they received over 27 million paper clips, plus let-
ters of support from all over the world. But, were they
finished? No,

The students then decided to purchase a cattle car
actually used to transport Jews to the death camps in
Germany, and .

Well, let's just say you have to see this film, which is as
beautifully done as the project itself, to understand
what memorializing the Holocaust can truly be and
how it can not just commemorate victims but can trans-
form the present. Congratulations and deep admira-
tion to the project and to our winning film.

Please stay offer the screenings for discussions with the
filmmakers and other guests in Commerce, Windsor and
Ann Arbor, An amazing, life-changing evening. Don't
miss it!

Second theatre screening co-sponsored by B'nai Pith
Great Lakes Region/BBYO

To be distributed by Miramax Films. Screenings courtesy
of Miramax Films.
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