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Paper Clips
Paper Clips
Actors: David Smith, Sandra Roberts, Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand, Tom Bosley, Linda Hooper
Directors: Elliot Berlin, Joe Fab
Genres: Documentary, Military & War
G     2006     1hr 22min

When the students of a tennessee middle school began studying the holocaust nobody could have predicted the results. The children started collecting paper clips to help visualize the vast number of victims and their effort...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: David Smith, Sandra Roberts, Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand, Tom Bosley, Linda Hooper
Directors: Elliot Berlin, Joe Fab
Creators: Joe Fab, Ari Daniel Pinchot, Bob Weinstein, Donny Epstein, Elie Landau, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Tahler, Matthew Hiltzik, Robert M. Johnson, Stuart Avi Savitsky, Yeeshai Gross
Genres: Documentary, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Documentary, Military & War
Studio: Arts Alliance Amer
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 03/07/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 22min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English, German
Subtitles: Spanish, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Barbara C. from HAMDEN, CT
Reviewed on 2/18/2010...
very informative and inspirational
Reviewed on 11/28/2007...
This is a fabulous documentary that shows what a group of school kids can do when they get serious about history. A great lesson about the holocaust. Great movie for middle schoolers.

Movie Reviews

Extraordinary documentary
David E. Levine | Peekskill , NY USA | 12/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is so refreshing to see that there can be genuinely excellent documentaries such as "March of the Penguins" and this moving film, "Paper Clips," particularly in light of some of the schlock documentaries that have become hits in recent years. "Paper Clips" documents a project in the Whitwell, TN Middle School in which principal Linda Hooper leads dedicated students and teachers in a lesson on the meaning of the Holocaust. Whitwell is a lower middle class rural community that is almost exclusively white Christian. The members of the community set out to collect six million paper clips, one for each Jew killed by the Nazis. As word spread, contributions came from all over the country and, indeed, the world.

A group of holocaust survivors, from the Five Towns area of Long Island, New York, came to visit the community. Most people in Whitwell had never seen a Jew before but, the two groups instantly bonded. As they heard the tales of what happened in the Holocaust, there were many tears and hugs between the two groups. One student, Cassie Crabtree, was taken by how grandfatherly one of the survivors named Sam is. What happened in Whitwell is that two sets of sterotypes were shattered. The people of Whitwell learned how devestating prejudice and hatred is but, visitors to Whitwell learned how sterotypes of rural southerners as prejudiced rednecks is equally wrong and inaccurate.

It is so intensly moving to see that in our midst there are good, kindly, saintly people. The students, teachers and community members of Whitwell are truly such people. What is also moving is to see how this project grew beyond its original scope. With the help of two German born journalists, the community acquired a cattle car that the Nazis used to transport victims to the concentration camps. This car is a lasting memorial and the clips are kept in that car. Since they received such a huge number of clips, eleven million are stored there, six million for the Jews that were slaughtered and five additional million for the other victims of the Holocaust. What makes this movie so emotional is to see the genuine good that can exist in people as exemplified by the wonderful citizens of Whitwell, TN."
Get more than you bargained for
Stuart Berman | Grand Rapids, MI United States | 12/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There is a terrific DVD which poignantly describes how a rural Tennessee Middle School engages in a project to instill a sense of diversity by teaching kids about the Holocaust. They never expected to affect so much of the life of the town, gain such a deep appreciation of the lives affected and the international involvement they earned. The lesson learned was the need to fight indifference and intolerance. A beautiful scene was the admission by a couple of Washington Post reporters that they had to get past their own deeply seated prejudices against rural southerners and discovering the love that filled their souls.

Enjoy this wonderful story."
"Changing the world one clip at a time."
E. Bukowsky | NY United States | 02/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In 1998, the students at Whitwell Middle School in rural Tennessee embarked on a project under the direction of their principal, Linda Hooper, assistant principal and history teacher, David Smith, and language arts teacher, Sandra Roberts. The goal was to demonstrate to these almost uniformly white and Christian children the tragic consequences of hatred and intolerance. When a student heard that the Nazis murdered six million Jews during World War II, he said that such a large number is incomprehensible. So the children did some research, found out that a Norwegian invented the paper clip, and that Norwegians wore paper clips on their lapels as a symbol of resistance to the Nazis during World War II. The kids started writing letters asking for donations of paper clips, hoping to collect eleven million clips, one for each victim of the Nazi regime. What started as a local project became international in scope. The students received letters from all over the world expressing support for the project. Holocaust survivors and their children, as well as a former solider who helped liberate a concentration camp, also sent letters with heart-rending anecdotes. This documentary film is a moving chronicle of the paper clip project.

Directed by Elliot Berlin and Joe Fab and written by Joe Fab, "Paper Clips" is a poignant tribute to the educators at Whitwell and to the children who enthusiastically immersed themselves in the history of the Holocaust. The film includes footage not only of the teachers and their students, but also of the former concentrate camp inmates who recount painful memories of their experiences. Two other key figures in the film are Peter Schroeder and his wife, Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand, journalists who visited Whitwell. The couple was impressed not only with the project, but also with the warmth of the residents of this small Tennessee town. Peter and Dagmar, who o did a great deal to publicize the project, speak on camera along with the principal, teachers, and students of Whitwell. The residents of the community explain how the paper clip project transformed them. Practically everyone in Whitwell became involved in one way or another before the project finally reached fruition.

On November 9, 2001, the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a memorial railcar that had been used in Nazi Germany to transport Jews to their deaths was dedicated in Whitwell. It is filled with eleven million paper clips and serves as a learning center for visiting students. "Paper Clips" is a simple film that exudes warmth and compassion. I recommend this documentary for children from the ages of ten or eleven through high school. It would be useful in raising awareness of the Holocaust and in imparting the idea that every one of us has the power to bring about positive change in the world.