Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Library Slates August Film Line-Up

BISBEE, AZ – August is “Back-to-School Month,” and the Friends of the Copper Queen Library’s “Monday Night ‘Did You Know …?’ Documentary Film Series” follows this theme with four inspiring films about students, teachers, and education.

The series kicks off on August 6 with A Touch of Greatness, a feature-length documentary film focusing on the extraordinary work of Albert Cullum, an elementary school teacher for over twenty years and a pioneer in American education. Championing an unorthodox educational philosophy, Cullum regularly taught his elementary school children literary masterpieces, most notably the works of Shakespeare, Sophocles and Shaw. Combining interviews with Cullum and his former students with stunning archival footage filmed by director Robert Downey, Sr., the film documents the extraordinary work of this maverick public school teacher who embraced creativity, motivation and self-esteem in the classroom through the use of poetry, drama, and imaginative play.

The Friends follow up on August 13 with Spellbound, which follows the lives of eight young Americans who share one goal: to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. The Bee is as intense a competition as any Olympic match, for both the spellers and their families. The unbearable pressure becomes even more extraordinary when it is felt by ordinary teenagers.

The Hobart Shakespeareans continues the series on August 20 with a profile of Los Angeles elementary school teacher and winner of the American Teacher Award, Rafe Esquith, and his eager students who, together, touchingly demonstrate the power of education. As a motivational teaching tool and unique method of education, Esquith teaches the Latino and Asian-American children of violence-stricken Los Angeles neighborhoods to understand and perform Shakespeare.

Finally, To Be and To Have (Etre et Avoir) completes the series on August 27. At the center of this intimate and touching story is Georges Lopez - a remarkably devoted teacher responsible for nurturing a dozen children ages 3-11 both in all their school subjects and in life's lessons. The film demonstrates how a teacher, if well trained, dedicated, and sensitive to a child's educational and emotional needs, can hugely influence a generation of children at their most critical time of development.

All documentaries are screened in the Library Meeting Room. Show time is 5:30pm, and admission is free and open to the public.

For further information, contact the library at 432-4232.