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"Paper Clips," a simple idea, an inspiring film

March 28, 2008

KALAMAZOO--"Paper Clips," an award-winning documentary about an extraordinary school project that transformed a community, will be shown at 2 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6, in the Little Theatre at Western Michigan University. "Paper Clips" is open to the public free of charge, sponsored by WMU Hillel and the Western Student Association.

Whitwell Middle School in rural Tennessee is the setting for the documentary about an experiment in Holocaust education. Whitwell is a small, isolated community of less than two thousand people, nearly all of whom are white and Christian.

In 1998, the school's children 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. Struggling to grasp the scope of the Holocaust, the students set out to collect six million paper clips, one for each Jewish victim of the Holocaust.

Eventually, they would collect 11 million paper clips, representing the six million Jews and five million other victims of the Holocaust, and the story did not end there. Through the efforts of the students, the community of Whitwell and contributors from all over the world, a permanent Children's Holocaust Memorial at Whitwell Middle School was dedicated in 2001.

At the 2004 Rome International Film Festival, "Paper Clips" won Best Film, Best Director, Best Documentary and Best Original Score. It was named one of the top five documentaries of 2004 by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.

"Paper Clips" is presented in English and has a run time of 82 minutes. The 2004 film is rated G for general audiences. For more information about the film, visit Paper Clips.

The Little Theatre is located at the corner of Oakland Drive and Oliver Street on WMU's East Campus. Free off-street parking is available behind the theatre. For more information, contact WMU Hillel at kazoohillel@yahoo.com, or call the Little Theatre movie line at (269) 387-8221.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
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Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400