A MUST-SEE DVD 'SEEDS OF CHANGE'
Caryn Eve Murray
July 24, 2005
It's not quite the hot summer movie of 2005, and its running
time is barely three minutes, from first lines to final credits.
But to its teenage cast - ranging from Justin Morales of
Islandia and Sadie Pincus of Commack to Mayra and Erik Martinez
of Brentwood - it is, in many ways, even more this year's
must-see than "War of the Worlds" or "Batman
Begins" could ever hope to be.
The video, "Seeds of Change," draws its power from
a four-letter word - hate - and that word's ability to destroy
through acts such as persecution and genocide.
Produced by Brooklyn videographer Pierre de Gailland, the
DVD was released for viewing by schools and community groups
right before summer break.
But not before the teens attended their own private, low-key
"I first saw it at least four weeks after we filmed
it and wasn't really sure what to expect," said Mayra
Martinez, who will be a senior at Brentwood High School this
fall. "When they finally played it for us, we were blown
away. Oh, my God, I said, I can't believe we just did this."
The video, in which each of the 15 teens recites in close-up,
details some of history's most horrifying genocides against
a backdrop of stark photos. It was the closest Martinez, 17,
said she and her brother, 16 - both first-generation Mexican-Americans
- had come to such horrors.
As participants in Seeds of Peace, coordinated by Adelante
of Suffolk County and the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center,
the teens were players in a much larger script that began
"They've had anti-bias training, they got to see the
film 'Farmingville' and experienced holiday sharing in December,"
said Kelly Alpert-Vest, director of the Y's community relations
and author of the video's script. The teens are now helping
put together a study guide to accompany its distribution.
Just a few weeks after its release, it was honored at the
Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County
in Glen Cove, after a screening before 150 people.
"The most important thing, is that it starts conversation,"
Vest said. "And it gets people thinking."
Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.