MLK Film Festival

On Monday, January 16, while students of other schools stayed home for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students of Western Reserve Academy attended classes and spent study hours watching and discussing films regarding equality and civil rights. Students chose from over thirty options, ranging from sports movies like Remember the Titans and Race to those with themes of social issues, such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Freedom Writers, and even Zootopia.

Ellie Frato-Sweeney ’20 aptly described the importance of actively celebrating MLK day: “I saw Zootopia, and it was fun to dig into the hidden meaning behind the animated children’s movie… Afterwards, we had a fascinating discussion about racial relations in America. Overall, it was a valuable experience that I think everyone should be a part of. The average public school student (myself formerly included) just wonders why they had the day off. This way, we can discuss what the day is truly about.” Carmélione Majewski ’20 added, “The film fest was an amazing opportunity for everyone to become aware of recent and past issues throughout the world.”

The idea behind the film fest was to learn about and discuss issues related to Mr. King’s work. Dr. Lisabeth Robinson was especially passionate about this. In her words, “I’ve wanted to do a film festival for some time and this seemed like a good opportunity. We’ve not done any such film festival in the past that I can remember (and this is my 19th year). Ultimately we wanted to make people think, but also to have the community look forward to the opportunity to see a perspective, discuss it and digest it.”

Although this was the first film fest held on MLK day, Dr. Robinson is hopeful that another will be held in the future, either on MLK day or on another occasion such as Earth Day.

-Ilyana Smith ’20

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