|Writers||Jane Elliott (in cooperation with)
|Cast||Martin Luther King Jane Elliott|
|Plot||In only 15 minutes with some 30 people Jane Elliott manages to build up a realistic microcosmos of society today with all its phenomena and feelings. As already known from the ill reputed Milgram experiment, even participants who knew the "rules" are unable to remain uninvolved. What starts as a game turns into cruel reality which causes some participants' emotions to erupt with unforeseen intensity ...... see Blue Eyed on IMDb|
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|The Essential Blue-Eyed is a shortened training version of Blue-Eyed, Jane Elliot's now-famous exercise in which she "teaches" people to discriminate against each other in a matter of minutes based on eye color. Elliott first developed the activity as an elementary school teacher looking for a creative way to address racism in her classroom after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. She later took the experience into the corporate world, building a reputation that led to appearances on Oprah Winfrey, Today, and Tonight. Director Bertram Verhaag compiled the "essential" footage from several of Elliot's workshops into a 50-minute film, adding a 36-minute debriefing segment to help trainers process the experience with their students or workshop participants. Essential Blue-Eyed reminds us how easily prejudices are learned and cycled and how easily we are persuaded to buy into a worldview that privileges us. To further illustrate this point, the film exposes how uncomfortable usually-privileged people become when removed from that privilege for only a short amount of time. This can be a powerful lesson for teacher education students who become frustrated and despondent when their place of power or biases are confronted-when they feel the slightest discomfort. As Elliott's activity reveals, if I am so discomforted from a few minutes of loss of privilege, I must consider the experiences of some of my students who effectively cross borders every time they step into my classroom.|
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