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Screenings: Absolute Wilson and Paper Clips

June 12th, 2008 · No Comments

Absolute Wilson (2006), directed by Katharina Otto-Bernstein:
This was an interesting and workmanlike documentary, entertaining to me as I have seen a handful of Wilson’s productions. For the uninitiated, however, it is primarily a tease, as there is not nearly enough stage footage relative to the amount of interview footage (which, while interesting, is merely incidental to the staged works). The footage from Einstein on the Beach and The Civil Wars was fascinating, but there should have been more – perhaps even separate films on each production. There is no mention at all of Wilson’s collaborations at the American Repertory Theatre.

Paper Clips (2004), directed by Elliot Berlin and Joe Fab:
I was not prepared for the emotional wallop contained in this seemingly simple documentary about Tennessee middle school students studying the Holocaust. Their project begins with the simple collection of 6 million paper clips (a Norwegian symbol of solidarity with victims of Nazi persecution), and ends a couple of years later with those Appalachian students acting as teachers of Holocaust history, and lessons of tolerance, to visitors in their small town. Engaging, beautifully filmed, and unexpectedly affecting.

Tags: film · history · Screenings

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