Friday, November 02, 2007

Email Targeting Teachers

I received this email at school today. Imagine how many teachers might be sympathetic to this message.

Hello from Participant Productions, the film company behind "An Inconvenient Truth," "Syriana" and "Murderball."

We've got three new films set to hit theaters in the coming weeks and we want you, our community of educators, to be the first to know about the films and the accompanying classroom resources available on our website.


Darfur Now posterOpens in select cities Nov. 2, 2007

Rated PG, DARFUR NOW is a story of hope in the midst of one of humanity's darkest hours – a call to action for people everywhere to end the catastrophe unfolding in Darfur, Sudan. In this documentary, the struggles and achievements of six different individuals (including co-producer Don Cheadle) from inside Darfur and around the world bring to light the tragedy in Sudan and show how the actions of one person can make a difference to millions.


“Unpredictably, the latest movie about Darfur is not a litany of broken corpses and burned villages. Instead, it focuses on moments of celebration, big and small. The delivery of a food convoy; guerrilla women breaking into praise songs; a father's tender pride at his son's work. Inevitably, the suffering is unavoidable…but for "Darfur Now" director Ted Braun, the goal is to focus on those doing something to end the crisis. "My object here is to move people on a human level," says Braun. "You have to balance graphic horrors with tales of hope.’…His upbeat premise—together with a fresh approach and rare footage from inside a rebel camp—could help make "Darfur Now" the next "Inconvenient Truth" in the stable of agenda-shaping documentaries.”

For educators:

Our site, has a section with educational tools, including:

  • A 32-page teaching guide, created by Amnesty International USA Human Rights Education Program. This guide helps provide a framework for engaging students in activities and lessons that will allow them to gain a greater understanding of issues that seem difficult and complex.
  • Powerpoint presentations from the “Student Anti-Genocide Coalition” that can be used for “teach-ins.”

You can visit with your students and do the following:

  • See videos of celebrities, politicians, Darfuris, educators, students, mothers and fathers who have declared an end to the crisis in Darfur, Now.
  • Students can upload their own messages, which are automatically sent to government representatives.
  • Access a reading list from the director
  • Send postcards to the UN
Also on the site are tips for organizing your communities, churches and campuses.

Want to bring your students to the film this fall? Get information on group sales tickets on the site or call 866-320-0372.


Carter posterIn theaters now

MAN FROM PLAINS is an intimate, surprising encounter with President Jimmy Carter. Following the path of Mr. Carter's recent controversial book tour for "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid," Academy Award© - winning director Jonathan Demme reveals a complex individual who, with the gusto and determination of a youngster, criss-crosses the country to get his message across, even as that message creates a media onslaught in which his credibility and judgment are called into question.

Man From Plains explores both the private and public sides of Jimmy Carter, whose intense sense of justice compels him to pursue, with undiminished energy and hope, his lifelong and deeply spiritual vision of reconciliation and peace.

“…President Carter makes me believe that - as frightening and appalling as so many things are in the world today - that there is nevertheless a very real possibility for peace and better lives for future generations if we strive to somehow get along and if we aspire to defining the upside of being human.” – Jonathan Demme, Director

Coming soon for educators on
  • Case studies in conflict resolution written by acclaimed journalist and author Jesse Kornbluth. They will focus on Camp David, East Timor and Northern Ireland and will be accompanied by video interviews with Nobel Peace Leureates Jose Ramos-Horta, John Hume, and President Carter. (Coming soon.)
  • Download a Human Rights question and answer sheet from Amnesty International to use in the classroom. (Coming soon.)


The Kite Runner posterOpens in theaters Dec. 14, 2007

Based one on of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, THE KITE RUNNER is a profoundly emotional tale of friendship, family, devastating mistakes and redeeming love. Directed by Marc Forster ("Stranger Than Fiction," "Finding Neverland" and "Monsters Ball").

Click here to create a "Kite Runner Club" for your school to possibly win an advanced screening of the film or win limited-edition prizes like author-signed copies of the book.

For educators:

psst! We are re-launching and our new site will include an entire section just for you. You'll be able to: meet other teachers and educators; share lesson ideas; download curricula and more. Stay tuned!

Now that you've considered how many people teaching your children there are who would be sympathetic to this email, tell me you're not concerned.


Tyralis said...

From what i heard, the Kite Runner movie is actually not too politicized. But I have a sneaky feeling that the Darfur Movie and the Jimmy Carter movie...not so much.

My favorite part of that email was Jimmy Carter's "...intense sense of justice [that] compels him to pursue, with undiminished energy and hope, his lifelong and deeply spiritual vision of reconciliation and peace."

I laughed out loud.

Darren said...

Laughed out loud, or cried out in agony?

Carter's never met a despot he didn't like.

Greg said...

Frankly, this conservative would love to get a hold of the Darfur stuff -- it is clearly a crisis that more needs to be done on.

However, the political action stuff is more "table in the lunchroom" than "classroom" appropriate stuff.

Darren said...

I've said for years now, the only solution in Darfur is for men with firearms to go there to end the slaughter. Talking doesn't work.

Linda said...

"guerrilla women breaking into praise songs"? Yeah, they would - right after they cheer the rape of their enemie's women. What a crock.

The Darfur story is simple - the same people who gave the world the Rwanda massacre are trying to eliminate any opposition to sharia of the harshest sort. First, they have virtually eliminated the Christians. Now, they're targeting the pagans, more moderate Muslims, and anyone else who stands in their way.

Anonymous said...

Bringing the lessons from Kite Runner into the classroom would be a remarkable learning experience to students.

It would also be interesting to compare Hosseini's novel to the movie's portray and compare/contrast. Also discussing why books can often discuss more controversial topics than movies is another point to discuss.

Kite Runner Movie