Movie Day for Students: A Lesson in Unity - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Movie Day for Students: A Lesson in Unity

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Cathedral City, CA -

One hundred and twenty high school students from the Palm Springs Unified School District got a chance to watch a special screening of "When Voices Meet". The documentary tells the story of a South African musician who brought together hundreds of children of all colors to perform during a chaotic time for the nation: the end of apartheid.

"The main message is that we can all come together as members of the human race," says Sharon Katz, the founder of "Peace Train" the group that inspired the documentary.

Palm Springs Women In Film and Television  hosted the screening and thought the group of choir students should hear the film's message.

"What gorgeous music they made and the impact they made on their audiences well we had that same kind of impact today on the kids from PSUSD," says Mitch Blumberg, board member of PSWIFT who was instrumental in bringing the film to Palm Springs and the school district. 

"They had lots of questions they learned a couple of the songs and you know it was very endearing and very it was wonderful to see that these are kids that can probably now take this message on to the next step,' says Shari Belafonte, who is known for her acting and humanitarian work. She says she as soon as she saw the film in Los Angeles she knew she had to spread its message. 

The film was made in 1992 but it still resonated with the students today.

"This was a really memorable experience and the fact this can help me be a better singer like go out and make a change for my community," says Leilani Rios, a student from Desert Hot Springs High School.  

"This film made me realize that it doesn't matter if we're different, like if we all like the same thing like singing it can unite us," says Rashel Espinoza, a student from Rancho Mirage High School. 

The students broke out into song and clapped along to the ending, the film's producer was moved by the students' reactions.

"To see the children from those four different schools mixing together here for their first time and being inspired by what they saw inspires us," says Marilyn Cohen, the film's producer.

And the story doesn't end there, there's an American version of the peace train in the works.

"It is the perfect time for the peace train because unfortunately there is a form of racism that doesn't go away and we really need to teach the young people that they can forgive and love each other," says Katz.

A singer who is in the film and in Peace Train adds, "If we can touch one life i really think that's important that we can spread the message of love, peace and harmony, then our job is really done."

They're planning on including students from the Palm Springs Unified School District in the Peace Train concerts. 

Fund raising is an important part of making this happen, if you want to donate log on to Peace Train website: GetonthePeaceTrain.org

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