Sunday, December 5, 2010

Documentary Movie Review: Paper Clips

This is a documentary film I watched on the documentary station of Dish Network.  It caught my eye because President Hodgman talked about the history of the paper clip in stake conference.  He related a story told to him by an older person he home taught.  She was from Norway, and told him the history of the paper clip.  It was an invention  from Norway.  When the Nazis occupied Norway during the war, the were unable to express open support for the Jews.  However many would wear a paper clip to silently express their support.

This film documents the story of the Witwell Middle School in Tennessee.  They embarked on the "Holocaust Project" as a means of learning tolerance for other cultures.  In the course of their study, and learning that 6 million Jews were murdered by Hitler, a student asked, "What is 6 million?"  That is what sparked the "Paper Clip Project;" the gathering of 6 million paper clips, so they would have some idea of the concept of a number so great.

The gathering of the paper clips was an interesting story, but the thing that made this movie moving was the interviews, and the presentations of survivors of the Holocaust and their children and grandchildren.  It was moving to hear the stories of those who were children and survived this experience.  (25 percent of those killed were children.)  Also those who related how they had missed grandparent relationships, the cost was greater than we can ever believe.

We were in Washington, and the family went to the Holocaust Museum while I went and got the car.  They were impressed with the exhibit of shoes, collected from those who had been murdered.

When I watched this story, I was filled with anger towards President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.  That he would have a pulpit at the U.N. for his anti-semitic statements and denial of the Holocaust is upsetting to me.  Also that the U.S. would give him and audience upsets me.  However the goal of this movie is tolerance, and acceptance.  I just don't think that extends to those who are bigots in their own right.

This movie is available through Netflix Instant.

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