Whitwell, TN is a small, rural community of less than two thousand people nestled in the mountains of Tennessee. Its citizens are almost exclusively white and Christian. In 1998, the children of Whitwell Middle School took on an inspiring project, launched out of their principal's desire to help her students open their eyes to the diversity of the world beyond their insulated valley. What happened would change the students, their teachers, their families and the entire town forever… and eventually open hearts and minds around the world.
PAPER CLIPS is the moving and inspiring documentary film that captures how these students responded to lessons about the Holocaust-with a promise to honor every lost soul by collecting one paper clip for each individual exterminated by the Nazis. Despite the fact that they had previously been unaware of and unfamiliar with the Holocaust, their dedication was absolute. Their plan was simple but profound. The amazing result, a memorial railcar filled with 11 million paper clips (representing 6 million Jews and 5 million gypsies, homosexuals and other victims of the Holocaust) which stands permanently in their schoolyard, is an unforgettable lesson of how a committed group of children and educators can change the world one classroom at a time.
When the students of Tennessee's Whitwell Middle School began studying the Holocaust as a way to learn about intolerance and diversity, nobody could have predicted the results. In 2001, the Paper Clip Project culminated in a unique memorial that changed the lives of those who created it, as well as touching Holocaust survivors and countless communities.
Because Norwegians invented the paper clip and used it as a symbol of solidarity against the Nazis, students started collecting them to help visualize such vast numbers of victims. As word spread online and in the media, paper clips poured in from around the world, 11 million of which are enshrined in an authentic German railcar standing in the schoolyard. “Patiently told and lovingly made” ( Variety ), this inspiring, award-winning documentary shows how even small-town students and educators can teach the world powerful lessons.
DVD BONUS FEATURES
Interviews with Holocaust Survivors
The Rail Car Journey
The Students' Visit to the NY Metropolitan area
PAPER CLIPS, presented by One Clip At A Time HMA, is a production of The Johnson Group, in association with Miramax Films and Ergo Entertainment. It was named one of the top films of 2004 (documentary) by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, has been acclaimed by critics as "Oscar caliber" (Joel Siegel, Good Morning America), and has received audience and jury awards at film festivals across the country.