Coincidentally, each of this year’s T+L Student Moviefest winners have tied their PSA’s addressing “How Can One Person Make a Difference?” to a historical quote or event. None is stronger than Bloomington, Indiana’s Lora Batchelor Middle School production: “Eva Mozes Kor – Making a Difference.” Eva is a Holocaust survivor. She survived Auschwitz and Mengele’s twin experiments. Her message is clear, “Forgive your worst enemy. It will heal your soul and set you free.” She goes on to state that our lives and our actions are like ripples in a pond. They spread and interact with others beyond the initial event, incredibly powerful words coming from someone who has suffered and seen brutal inhumanity like she has.
Some production notes – The narrator does a good job of setting up the story by speaking over the introductory video. Though Eva is speaking to us, she is not looking directly into the camera. Later on you hear her voice, but see an image of what she’s talking about. Transitions can be a distraction in most student videos, but this one makes very clever use of the “ripple” effect to underscore the message.
You don’t have to bring back footage from a death camp in Poland like the B-TV team did to make strong first person historical stories. Have sudents seek out relatives and neighbors with experiences to share. You will find that they often have artifacts to illustrate what they are talking about. And when they don’t, you can usually find a copyright friendly version to help put a picture with the words. The generations that have gone before our students are a treasure trove of learning. Kids’ searching for and mining that rich vein can lead to experiences that last a life time.
Next up: proactive lifesaving
All three T+L Student MovieFest videos are available at http://www.nsba.org/t+l/moviefest/index.cfm