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Paper Clips


Stars: None (documentary)

Director: Elliot Berlin, Joe Fab

In 1991, a small Tennessee school decided to teach its children the meaning of the Holocaust by attempting to collect six million paper clips - one for every Jewish victim in Hitler's concentration camps.

After a slowish start, the project mushroomed. Two German-born journalists put their weight behind it. Holocaust survivors visited the school. The Washington Post took up the story and paper clips flooded in from all over the world. The eventual total was close to 30 million.

You'll be as moved as the children and their teachers were, as the school finally procures an original death-camp rail truck as a permanent memorial to the victims - six million Jews and five million other minorities and dissidents - housing 11 million paper clips in all.

This brilliant documentary won't leave a dry eye in the house, with letters to the school from Holocaust survivors - and speeches from those who came to see the project in progress - proving more moving than the mountain of paper clips itself.

The children and their teachers clearly gained a lot: and you will too.

David Quinlan

USA 2004. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour.
84 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 29 Jul 2006