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Paper Clips

4.8 out of 5 stars 220 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Middle school students in Tennessee attempt to collect six million paper clips so as to visualize the vast number of Jews murdered during the Holocaust.


Paper Clips is an inspiring 2004 documentary about a consciousness-raising project that blossomed into something beautiful at a rural Tennessee school. When the principal of Whitwell Middle School sought a program that would teach diversity to a predominantly white, Protestant student body, the notion of focusing on the Holocaust--specifically Hitler's extermination of six million Jews--seemed like an obvious way to go. But understanding what "six million" looks like became a challenge. Thus was born the idea of collecting that number of paper clips at Whitwell as a visual reference.

But then it turned out paper clips actually have, in historical terms, symbolic value where the Holocaust is concerned. In this moving film, one sees Whitwell students dig into research on Germany's genocidal campaign, solicit clips from a variety of leaders and celebrities, and make a name for themselves on the national news. In time, the world comes to Whitwell's doorstep, via unsolicited donations of clips from people around the world, and in a tearful meeting of students and Holocaust survivors. The dimensions of the project, the lessons about prejudice and intolerance, are stunning to watch grow beyond anyone's wildest expectations. This is a great film for families and classrooms to watch together. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • Bonus scene
  • Extended scenes
  • Interviews with Holocaust Survivors
  • Bonus Interview excerpts

Product Details

  • Actors: David Smith, Sandra Roberts, Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand, Tom Bosley, Casey Condra
  • Directors: Elliot Berlin, Joe Fab
  • Writers: Joe Fab
  • Producers: Ari Daniel Pinchot, Bob Weinstein, Donny Epstein, Elie Landau, Harvey Weinstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Virgil Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 7, 2006
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CMNJF4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,803 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Paper Clips" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

It is so refreshing to see that there can be genuinely excellent documentaries such as "March of the Penguins" and this moving film, "Paper Clips," particularly in light of some of the schlock documentaries that have become hits in recent years. "Paper Clips" documents a project in the Whitwell, TN Middle School in which principal Linda Hooper leads dedicated students and teachers in a lesson on the meaning of the Holocaust. Whitwell is a lower middle class rural community that is almost exclusively white Christian. The members of the community set out to collect six million paper clips, one for each Jew killed by the Nazis. As word spread, contributions came from all over the country and, indeed, the world.

A group of holocaust survivors, from the Five Towns area of Long Island, New York, came to visit the community. Most people in Whitwell had never seen a Jew before but, the two groups instantly bonded. As they heard the tales of what happened in the Holocaust, there were many tears and hugs between the two groups. One student, Cassie Crabtree, was taken by how grandfatherly one of the survivors named Sam is. What happened in Whitwell is that two sets of sterotypes were shattered. The people of Whitwell learned how devestating prejudice and hatred is but, visitors to Whitwell learned how sterotypes of rural southerners as prejudiced rednecks is equally wrong and inaccurate.

It is so intensly moving to see that in our midst there are good, kindly, saintly people. The students, teachers and community members of Whitwell are truly such people. What is also moving is to see how this project grew beyond its original scope. With the help of two German born journalists, the community acquired a cattle car that the Nazis used to transport victims to the concentration camps.
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Format: DVD
There is a terrific DVD which poignantly describes how a rural Tennessee Middle School engages in a project to instill a sense of diversity by teaching kids about the Holocaust. They never expected to affect so much of the life of the town, gain such a deep appreciation of the lives affected and the international involvement they earned. The lesson learned was the need to fight indifference and intolerance. A beautiful scene was the admission by a couple of Washington Post reporters that they had to get past their own deeply seated prejudices against rural southerners and discovering the love that filled their souls.

Enjoy this wonderful story.
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Format: DVD
In 1998, the students at Whitwell Middle School in rural Tennessee embarked on a project under the direction of their principal, Linda Hooper, assistant principal and history teacher, David Smith, and language arts teacher, Sandra Roberts. The goal was to demonstrate to these almost uniformly white and Christian children the tragic consequences of hatred and intolerance. When a student heard that the Nazis murdered six million Jews during World War II, he said that such a large number is incomprehensible. So the children did some research, found out that a Norwegian invented the paper clip, and that Norwegians wore paper clips on their lapels as a symbol of resistance to the Nazis during World War II. The kids started writing letters asking for donations of paper clips, hoping to collect eleven million clips, one for each victim of the Nazi regime. What started as a local project became international in scope. The students received letters from all over the world expressing support for the project. Holocaust survivors and their children, as well as a former solider who helped liberate a concentration camp, also sent letters with heart-rending anecdotes. This documentary film is a moving chronicle of the paper clip project.

Directed by Elliot Berlin and Joe Fab and written by Joe Fab, "Paper Clips" is a poignant tribute to the educators at Whitwell and to the children who enthusiastically immersed themselves in the history of the Holocaust. The film includes footage not only of the teachers and their students, but also of the former concentrate camp inmates who recount painful memories of their experiences. Two other key figures in the film are Peter Schroeder and his wife, Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand, journalists who visited Whitwell.
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I just spent the last 1-1/2 hours non-stop in tears watching the most incredible / wonderful movie - "Paper Clips." I cannot begin to possibly come close to telling you how moving this film is, and the following two (2) links will not suffice either. In the movie, there is an amazing German couple who helped a middle school in Whitwell, Tennessee with a four year project to learn about intolerance and hatred through learning about the Holocaust and the 6,000,000 Jews who were killed - they even helped locate, purchase, and ship from Germany to Tennessee a cattle car that was built in 1917 and later used to ship Jews to concentration camps. That cattle car now stands at Whitwell Middle School as a memorial to the Jews who were murdered by Hitler. The school children in the project began the project with starting to try to collect 6,000,000 paperclips, one for each Jew who was murdered. They ended up with almost 30 million paperclips from all over the world. One of the following links is the official link of the county school system in Tennessee and the other is the link to the official website for the movie:



What a shame this movie cannot be shown in every home in the world.
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Music in Paperclips
Jubilee was available for a while as an iTunes download but it doesn't appear to be available currently. I'm not sure why. If I can find out more I'll let you know (I'm one of the film's directors).
Elliot Berlin
May 31, 2009 by Elliot Berlin |  See all 18 posts
How Do You Get The Music from Holocaust
The blue grass serenade is available under Alison Krauss Jubilee YouTube, and the entire film score including Jubilee is under 2Paper Clips Charlie Barnett Film Composer. These are viewable on computer only. If you find an available CD to purchase the haunting melody, please post the information.... Read More
Jun 3, 2014 by Sakuteiki |  See all 2 posts
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