A 'Super Size' Vision for 'Paper Clips'14 Feb, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Fresh off the success of Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me, Hart Sharp Video is launching another documentary designed to illustrate and educate.
Hart Sharp March 7 presents Paper Clips (DVD $19.99), the story of a Christian middle school class in Whitwell, Tenn., that went about collecting a paper clip for each of the 6 million Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
What started as a class project about intolerance and a quest to quantify “what is 6 million?” quickly morphed into a life-changing experience for their teachers, families and the entire town.
National media exposure soon prompted paper clips being delivered to the school from celebrities, politicians and world figures around the world. In all, 29 million paper clips were collected and ensconced in sculptures in a donated authentic WWII-era German railcar and put on display in a special exhibit on the school grounds.
“The film's message is that tolerance is something you grab onto almost from the beginning and hold onto well after you have seen the film,” said Hart Sharp president Joe Amodei. “The message is very basic: Racism in any form is bad.”
Paper Clips will be co-released as an educational DVD edition with added footage. Created specifically for teachers, the educational release will feature pop-ups and downloadable lesson plans.
Amodei likens the film to the McDonald's documentary Super Size Me, which he said was entertaining, financially rewarding and brought about change in the national mindset about fast food. That title, too, had a version aimed at schools.
He said Hart Sharp seeks off-the-radar titles that can be maximized in alternative markets.
“If this film can help remind people about what happened in Nazi Germany, then we accomplished something,” Amodei said. “We are always on the search for films that bring about change in a small way or help people.”