Published November 30, 2018
The middle school students in language arts class at St. John School in Hot Springs recently attended the Documentary Film Festival for a series of short films. This film venue is one way that filmmakers can have their films nominated for Academy Awards.
The students viewed films about the Apollo 8 astronauts and the iconic Earth pictures they took from space; they viewed a film about an artist trying to ease the pain of the wall separating families in Mexico and the United States; a man dying of cancer who wanted to achieve a lifelong goal of tornado-chasing and accomplishing a purpose no matter what one’s fate was; and about the Big Bend National Park and one man’s work of transporting 11,000 people across the river in his single craft.
The students responded in writing to several questions about the films.
Sixth-grader Georgie Edgar said, “The picture of Earth by the astronauts of Apollo 8 made me feel as if God is the one beautiful artist.”
Neelie Kindt, a fifth grader, said, “By looking at these pictures, we can bring people together by telling them this is a tiny world, and you need to start getting along with everyone in this little lifetime.”
Overall, the students understood the filmmakers’ points and were able to become movie critics themselves.