Paper Clips

Paper Clips

5.0 4
Director: Elliot Berlin, Joe Fab

Cast: Elliot Berlin, Joe Fab, Linda Hooper, David Smith


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Directed by Joe Fab and Elliot Berlin, this documentary chronicles a rural Tennessee middle school's unique class project: finding a meaningful way to honor Holocaust victims. Brought up in a heavily fundamentalist Christian environment, most of the students had never seen, let alone spoken with, a member of the Jewish faith; nonetheless, the children of Whitwell…  See more details below


Directed by Joe Fab and Elliot Berlin, this documentary chronicles a rural Tennessee middle school's unique class project: finding a meaningful way to honor Holocaust victims. Brought up in a heavily fundamentalist Christian environment, most of the students had never seen, let alone spoken with, a member of the Jewish faith; nonetheless, the children of Whitwell found a poignant method of honoring the slain. Using individual paper clips to represent each life lost in the Holocaust, the students were inundated with contributions from around the world. Eventually, they managed to procure an authentic German rail car, which would become container to the millions of paper clips collected. ~ Tracie Cooper

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This modestly produced documentary packs an emotional wallop unlike practically any other in recent memory. It takes place in the rural, blue-collar Tennessee community of Whitwell, where a middle-school class embarks upon a simple but ambitious project: In an attempt to gauge the magnitude of World War II's Holocaust, students begin collecting paper clips, each of which represents a human life lost in the Nazis' systematic slaughter of Jews. They are to amass 6 million paper clips, imagining each tiny piece of metal to be a human being. Thanks to the tremendous skill of directors Elliot Berlin and Joe Fab, we see how the enormity of this task transforms not only the children but their parents; indeed, the entire community. As the paper clips pile up, the people begin to understand the comprehensiveness of that long-ago manifestation of intolerance and hatred. There is, we must admit, a bit of theatricality and heavy-handedness to the film's presentation. But its message is so clearly delineated and profound that its minor directorial excesses can easily be forgiven. Viewing this powerfully moving motion picture would benefit every family in the country, if not the world.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Virgil Films
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Bonus scene; Interviews with Holocaust survivors; Bonus interview excerpts; Extended scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Linda Hooper School Prinicpal
David Smith Assistant Principal
Sandra Roberts Participant
Dagmar Schindel-Hildebrand Participant
Drew Shadrick 2000-2001 Holocaust Group,2000-2001 Student
Tom Bosley Himself, Reading Letter
George Jacobs Participant
George Jacobs Participant
Peter Schroeder Journalist
Dita Smith The Washington Post
Patrick Martin Postmaster
Sheila Gluck Levine Interviewee
Bernard Igielski Holocaust Survivor
Rachel Gleitman Holocaust Survivor
Samuel Sitko Holocaust Survivor
Mary Jane Higdon Interviewee
Joe Grabezak Holocaust Survivor
Linda Pickett Artist
Kay Fab Voice of Opening Letter Writer
Allison Sutherland Voice of Lena L. Gitter
Miranda Ables 1998-1999 Student
Sherrill Atterton 1998-1999 Student
Candice Boston 1998-1999 Student
Angie Castle 1998-1999 Student
Coby Curvin 1998-1999 Student
Laura Davis 1998-1999 Student
Jessica Giles 1998-1999 Student
Tyler Hancock 1998-1999 Student
Ashley Lofty 1998-1999 Student
Ashley McGowan 1998-1999 Student
Christy Nunley 1998-1999 Student
Jessica Partin 1998-1999 Student
Jarvis Powell 1998-1999 Student
Lindsey Rollins 1998-1999 Student
Nicole Sanders 1998-1999 Student
Jennifer Vandergriff 1998-1999 Student
Chad Ables 1999-2000 Student
Steven Austin 1999-2000 Student
Molly Bailey 1999-2000 Student
Chris Brown 1999-2000 Student
Mindy Bryant 1999-2000 Student
Amanda Elliot 1999-2000 Student
Eric Fine 1999-2000 Student
David Flynn 1999-2000 Student
Felicia Floyd 1999-2000 Student
Monica Hammers 1999-2000 Student
Jonathan Higdon 1999-2000 Student
Ashley Hooks 1999-2000 Student
Breeze Hudson 1999-2000 Student
Chris Johnson 1999-2000 Student
Bruce Kilgore 1999-2000 Student
Laurie Lynn 1999-2000 Student
Holly Norman 1999-2000 Student
Holly Perkins 1999-2000 Student
Chris Privett 1999-2000 Student
Robbyn Reynolds 1999-2000 Student
Jessica Shipley 1999-2000 Student
Jaide Terry 1999-2000 Student
Lance Webb 1999-2000 Student
Jordan Carroll 2000-2001 Student
Ashley Clemons 2000-2001 Student
Casey Condra 2000-2001 Student
Heath Cookston 2000-2001 Student
Talena Cookston 2000-2001 Student
Cassie Crabtree 2000-2001 Student
Chaddi Hatfield 2000-2001 Student
Elizabeth Henry 2000-2001 Student
Cassie Higgins 2000-2001 Student
Laura Jefferies 2000-2001 Student
Mitch Kilgore 2000-2001 Student
David King 2000-2001 Student
Taylor Lawson 2000-2001 Student
Myles Parris 2000-2001 Student
Tory Raulston 2000-2001 Student
Felicia Rollins 2000-2001 Student
Tashawnna Seber 2000-2001 Student
Robyn Sisco 2000-2001 Student
Allison Thomas 2000-2001 Student
Latosha Worley 2000-2001 Student
Joseph Bailey 2001-2002 Student
Trey Bell 2001-2002 Student
Kristin Clemons 2001-2002 Student
Jaya Cookston 2001-2002 Student
Ryan Cookston 2001-2002 Student
Terri Lynn Floyd 2001-2002 Student
Wendy Floyd 2001-2002 Student
Chris Fox 2001-2002 Student
Allison Hall 2001-2002 Student
Amanda Headrick 2001-2002 Student
Carie Kilgore 2001-2002 Student
Katie Layne 2001-2002 Student
Thomas Martin 2001-2002 Student
Ashley Miller 2001-2002 Student
Judy Morrison 2001-2002 Student
Jeremy Nunley 2001-2002 Student
Randi Perkey 2001-2002 Student
Shanna Atterton 2002-2003 Student
Callie Bird 2002-2003 Student
Leanne Carr 2002-2003 Student
Ronny Carr 2002-2003 Student
Kayla Cates 2002-2003 Student
Carrie Davidson 2002-2003 Student
Lacey Essex 2002-2003 Student
Brandi Grayson 2002-2003 Student
Lindsey Hamblin 2002-2003 Student
Daniel Hooks 2002-2003 Student
Amanda Hooper 2002-2003 Student
Danielle King 2002-2003 Student
Lori Nelson 2002-2003 Student
Tiffany Matherly 2002-2003 Student
Ashley A. Morrison 2002-2003 Student
Hannah Mosier 2002-2003 Student
Jessica Nunley 2002-2003 Student
Kellie Nunley 2002-2003 Student
Amber Powell 2002-2003 Student
Meagan Powell 2001-2002 Student
Kristan Pyburn 2002-2003 Student
Brittany Reynolds 2001-2002 Student
Jessica Reynolds 2001-2002 Student
Jessi Royer 2001-2002 Student
Crystal Sanders 2002-2003 Student
Emily Sanders 2002-2003 Student
Felecia Scissom 2002-2003 Student
Colton Shadrick 2002-2003 Student
Latasha Shirley 2002-2003 Student
Greg Stalyon 2001-2002 Student
Whitney Terry 2002-2003 Student
Carrie Thomas 2002-2003 Student
Ryan Thomas 2001-2002 Student
Travis Tripp 2001-2002 Student
Kyle Upchurch 2001-2002 Student
Jessica Vandergriff 2001-2002 Student,2002-2003 Student
April White 2002-2003 Student
Tiffany Whittemore 2001-2002 Student

Technical Credits
Elliot Berlin Director,Co-producer
Joe Fab Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Jessica Davenport Anson Associate Producer
Charlie Barnett Score Composer
John Basko Camera Operator
Regis Becker Camera Operator
Julia Dixon Eddy Editor
Donny Epstein Executive Producer
Gil Gilbert Camera Operator
Yeeshai Gross Executive Producer
Matthew Hiltzik Executive Producer
Robert M. Johnson Executive Producer
Elie Landau Executive Producer
Michael Marton Cinematographer
Ari Daniel Pinchot Producer
Tom Rowe Camera Operator
Stuart Avi Savitsky Associate Producer
Robert 'Sully' Sullivan Camera Operator
Jeffrey Tahler Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer

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Paper Clips 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie brings tears of joy, pain, and sadness to your eyes. It is a story that needs to be kept alive and this documentary does just that through the children of Whitwell, TN. Highly recommend it! My niece saw it in school and demanded that we see it as a family. Buy it and cherish it. I would also love to have a copy of Alison Kraus' Jubilee but can't find it on an any CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a beautiful story. I insisted that my grandchildren see it. I would like to have the music "Jubilee", played in the movie. Where can I get a single of this music? I think this movie should get more notice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not think that anything could depict teaching other cultures about "tolerance", "patience", "understanding", "human compassion", and "humanity" as this movie can. It was inspired by a Middle School Principal by the name of Linda Hooper who wanted to teach the predominantly Protestant children and their families about other cultures that they were not exposed to and not aware of. As a fellow Jew and the daughter of a man who lost his Mom and three bothers at the hands of Hitler and his orders to persecute the Jews in concentration camp and I had a grandmother and three uncles who I was deprived of ever being able to meet because of ignorance, intolerance, and senselissness. I think that everyone should take the time out to see this movie. It's inspiring and educational and you cannot walk away from this movie without being touched at the heart. It's a moving tribute to the memories of all of the Jews who perished in concentration camps and to their survivors and to those who were lucky enough to escape concentration camp and be Holocaust survivors as my dad is. My dad will be 89 years old in January and he still has vivid memories of those days back in Germany and how rought things were under the Hitler regime and he tells the story and says that he would not wish that on his worst enemy.
As a matter of fact one Summer a few years ago, on my parent's way home from vacation, they had not yet been made aware of Whitwell, TN and the Children's Holocaust Memorial or the book or DVD of Paper Clips and they made a wrong turn and stumbled across it merely by accident. That was the most inspiring trip of getting lost they had ever gone on. Unfortunately, they did not have much time that trip as it was an "unscheduled" stop. However, up their return home back to Florida they immediately began planning a trip that was based around going back to Whitwell, TN and spending time at this Memorial. As a matter of fact, the day that they were there, again by sheer accident they ran into Linda Hooper and she very graciously began conversing with them and as my dad was telling her about his background, needless to say, she became most interested and she invited my parent's into her office to continue the discussion. In between them finding Whitwell by accident and returning as a scheduled trip they had purchased the book Six Million Paper Clips and they brought it along with them. When they met Linda Hooper they asked her if she would please autograph the book for them, which she did proudly. I have already have a few phone conversations with Linda Hooper and she is a most charming woman and a very good example and role model for other human beings to follow. I would very "highly" recommend both the book Six Million Paper clips as well as the DVD Paper Clips. It is truly a heart-wrenching story. Unfortunately, this story is not make believe, all of the facts in this story are true. It's very hard to believe that we ever lived in such times. Hopefully, we never will again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago