You'll Never Look at Paper Clips the Same Way Again.


Paper Clips Movie Chris and I rented this movie over the weekend. Not really knowing what to expect – the description on the back sounded interesting, at least to me. Chris, on the other hand, is always giving me a hard time about the movies I pick out. This night was no different – – he picked his usual comedy, I picked a movie about the Holocaust. It usually goes that way and he blames it on the fact that he thinks I have no sense of humor. (I really do – in spite of the rumors).

We decided to make it the first movie to watch that night. We ended up making it the second movie we watched that night, as well. The first time we watched it by ourselves – – the second time, we brought it upstairs and made the kids sit through it.

As far as movies go? It was poorly done. Poorly shot. Bad music soundtrack. Very cheaply done.

However, you get past that the minute the kids start telling the story of how this small town of Whitewell, TN decided their school children needed a lesson in diversity and culture. They got that and so much more.

When I talk to my own kids about the Holocaust, it alarms me a great deal about how much they don’t know about it – – or the things they think they know about it. This movie is a great history lesson for anyone, young and old – – yet, I think it was very important for my kids to sit down and really watch, listen and learn.

They had no idea.

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.

~Paper Clips

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25 thoughts on “You'll Never Look at Paper Clips the Same Way Again.”

  1. Hmmmmmmm. With a back cover description like that it’s a wonder why Chris even lets you out of the car at the video store! 😡

    Just tried adding it to my Netflix list but they don’t show it being released yet. So for now it’s on my ‘add to list whenever it’s released’ list. 🙁 We’ll see if it shows up before I finally get to The Red Violin

  2. Ok Mr. Memory-Like-An-Elephant over there! :-w

    FYI – The Red Violin was an EXCELLENT movie, one of my ultimate favorites, by far 🙂

    This movie? Paper Clips? I wouldn’t rate it up there with any of my favorites – – it’s just a darned good story – – and like I said, the cinematograhpy bites… but the reality of the story more than makes up for it.

    On a side note – when we returned it to Blockbuster last night, the kid behind the counter told us that he was glad to get that one back because they got some memo from the studio telling them to pull all copies off the shelf because they got the release date wrong. It’s supposed to be released end of November.

    Guess we got a preview. <:-p

  3. I never said I wasn’t looking forward to Red Violin Ms. Burn-the-house-down. o:-) I’m actually looking forward to it and have it on the list just because it’s one of your favorites! It just keeps dropping back for some reason. In fact, I think I’ll go over and bump it up a bunch…

  4. Nah, it was me moving it back. I had to move a few horror movies up for Halloween, and we still have 28 Days Later sitting there to watch. The first half hour looked fantastic, but we only got a few minutes in and decided to turn it off until the Mite went to bed. By the time he was out, we weren’t far off. I also had to move a few American movies up (yes, including The Core) to satisfy Mrs. Knight because I was supposedly having way too many BBC DVDs and other foreign stuff showing up. I think The Red Violin is now in about #20, which is pretty good since I think the first ten haven’t come out yet and the next five or six have a wait. We might even get to it before Christmas!

  5. I watched Shaun of the dead again… such a great movie… the bit when they are beating the bartender with the pool cues is…. sorry what was it you watched…..

  6. It’s just a great movie line. I really need to watch that one again, and at the right price I’ll probably have to pick it up. There’s actually a Shaun series of comic books now that I’ve been tempted by as well…

  7. OK… holocaust story…… no wait I can relate…. in 2000 I went for a job interview in St Petersburg, I got there real early (didn’t really know how far away St. Pete was) so I has some time on my hands. I strolled arround and found a museum, the holocaust museum. lol, I actually thought it was going to be about the nucular holocaust in horisima, but I was very distracted at the time. Anyway I paid my dues and walked in and started reading the exhibits, pretty soon I tagged on to a tour and started listening to who I thought was the guide, he was fascinating and very knowlegable, an he highlighted many of the things on display with stories of their origin and recounted tales that he had obviously recieved first hand from victims. Anyway to cut a long story short it turns out that this guy was the owner of the museum, he was a German Jew who fled the Nazis to Switzerland and from there immigrated to the US, where he inlisted in the army and trained US troops on skis in the Rockys and then lead them back into Germany. The party of people I tagged onto were survivors, they had been children at the time and were viewing the museum with the intention of willing their possesions from the period to the museum. It was perhaps the most interesting museum trip I have ever taken.

  8. OK, so this is freaky shit… I’m bored, flicking through those channels between BBC America and HBO scrolling such luminaries as MTV2, The game network and Divinity channel thinking why do they have these channels when I stumble on IFC – don’t know what it stands for but what is it showing??? The red freaking violin! no shit… well I don’t have time to watch it, but I stop for a couple of minutes then onward and upward until I hit HBO and whats playing? I shit you not Paper clips…. now that is just too wierd.

  9. Fred! Wow – – that is kinda freaky!

    Blog imitating reality – – or reality imitating blog?

    Either way – I’m NOT doing the Marmite v-g-n thing! =))

  10. IFC is the Independent Film Channel. There’s some good stuff there, and it’s a channel I forget about way too much. I guess that makes it kinda like BBC America, but thankfully BBC is bringing out lots of their shows on DVD. Hopefully this week Netflix gives us another Doctor Who and maybe the next Cold Feet DVD…

  11. Paper Clips is indeed a very insightful story of how attitudes can be changed through understanding. The teachers and members of the Tennessee community of Whitewell were caught up in both the emotion and the gravity of an event that had occurred 60 years ago. They should be commended for their perseverance and dedication to bringing understanding of a horrific world event to such a small community. It has changed the lives of many, many people around the world, not just those in TN. This film is a “must see” for all the “gamers,” “skaters,” “jocks,” and all others of the current generation. It is true, you will never look at a paper clip in the same way again! :)>-

  12. Pingback: La Educación y las Nuevas Tecnologías de Aprendizaje » Blog Archive » Más de Paper Clip

  13. Paper Clips was one of the most moving films I have seen in a long time. It was especially moving because I am a jew and because it changed the lives of the students and teachers in such a profound way.

  14. I watched the Paper Clips movie twice this week. Both times I was very moved, and actually cried the second time around. More so, I think, because I am 55, and grew up with a guy whose mother was a victim of the holocost. I have always been fascinated that that whole thing happened and that the victims went along willingly to their deaths. Only now that I am an older adult and understand the world a little bit better can I understand how those people left. Who would believe that they were getting in a car to go be killed? Anyway, the whole lthing aabout the movie is that we are all, me too, prejudiced in some way. I appreciated the teacher guy who talked about his own prejudices. My father, too, still does use racial slurs. I have not been quite that bad, but now fine myself thinking of the illegal Mexicans in my area in a similar way. But I would not want them to die. I hope I can become more tolerant. My son reminded me years ago that he was made fun of for us being Catholic. That’s a lot like being Jewish, I guess, when the majority of us in the Deep South are Baptists. Thanks for such a wonderful movie. I hope to visit the Memorial myself in the near future.

  15. I am a high school healthcare teacher. When my girlfriend picked up Paperclips I just rolled my eyes — not my idea of a way to spend an evening with my girl. Within the week the movie had found its way into my lesson plans for all my classes as a lesson on cultural diversity and ethics. I was absolutely amazed that the normally egocentric teens actually were disappointed when we ran out of time before the movie ended! I got some very insightful written responses to the writing assignment they were give. I can’t say it has had any long-term impact on them, but then often it takes quite a long time for something like that to really take root and grow in a young mind.

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