The number and variety of topics students have collected through the Oral History Documentary Film Project has been staggering. Tom and I are always mindful of the ways in which the topic threads weave together, informing us about the diverse perspectives surrounding a particular event and the ways in which the lessons of the past continue to inform our present. For example, the year we first viewed a documentary about the fear surrounding polio epidemics was the same year that the Ebola virus came to Dallas, finding its way to a home on a quiet street only a couple of miles from our school.
We have also observed how the project encourages students to draw not only from our national libraries but from the “libraries of scrapbooks” in their own homes. Students radiate enthusiasm when they show us a copy of a polio diagnosis or WWII diary found among faded papers stashed in a drawer. And, some students are lucky enough to find photos or old home movies to incorporate as evidence in their films.
This film by Molly incorporates archival images and film along with family photos and home movies to help tell the story of the London Blitz from the eyes of a child.
Megan tells the story of her great-grandmother, a real Rosie the Riveter, using the story that her grandmother shares.
Mason helps to explain the draft lottery system and methods for evading the draft using archival video and the story of his grandfather who was a seminary student in the 1960s.
Ollantay delivers a unique perspective on the student protest movement in Mexico.
Pace brings us back to the theme of the changing roles of women through the story of his grandmother who broke barriers as a computer programmer in the 1960s.