A Different Kind of Hero to Our Youth

Most young people have nothing to do with the violence that bleeds through our neighborhoods, yet the fascination with violence and gangster heroes saturates youth culture. But some of Chicago’s youth have met a different kind of hero, whose documentary film on life in Mozambique lifted them to a new level of awareness, inspiring core values of respect, compassion for others and a desire to make a difference. Now they have a chance to meet him in person.

Mozambican youth documentary filmmaker and AIDS orphan, Alcides Soares, at 16 years of age crafted a ‘grab your heart’ documentary taking us through the grimmest reality of daily survival, and Alcides’s search for his lost siblings. His film, Home Is Where You Find It, is part of a program that teaches compassion, tolerance, trust, and hope in education; as well as the possibility of a healthy and happy future oppblåsbar Ball.

Members of the Chicago media are invited to join Chicago Public School students and teachers at two life-changing screenings of Home Is Where You Find It. Now 21 years old, and leading a life far removed from his tragic youth, Alcides is in the city as part of the Dialogue for Peace Outreach Program. This is a unique opportunity for students to view the film, meet and dialogue with Alcides Soares, a different kind of hero.

Screenings in two Chicago Public Schools:

When: Monday, Nov. 21, 2011
Where: First Screening: 9:30-11 a.m., at Hendricks Community Academy Elementary (4316 S Princeton Ave, Chicago)
Second Screening: 12:45-2:15 p.m., Josephine Locke Elementary School (2828 N Oak Park Ave, Chicago).
The screenings are being presented by Dialogue for Peace (DFP), an outreach program of Chicago’s very own Peace on Earth Film Festival (www.peaceonearthfilmfestival.org), which is held annually each February at the Chicago Cultural Center. The DFP outreach to students in the Chicago Public Schools is an ongoing part of the festival, which makes its presence felt in the city year-round. “We use films to engage children in dialogue on nonviolent practices.” said film festival director Nick Angotti.

Brad Parker, National Board Certified Teacher, has said of the program: “Students really open up. That was the real power of the program. I feel that after the dialogue and discussion, the class became incredibly more teachable — because they understood each other so much more and they understood their common humanity.”

Home Is Where You Find It, which Alcides Soares, an AIDS orphan, made in 2006, with the help and encouragement of Law and Order SVU, Executive Director, Neal Baer, Chris Zalla (director) and other L&O, SVC cast members, is a 16-minute film about his efforts to reunite the siblings of his shattered family. It is also a tale of young people coping without their parents in deepest poverty. His message to Chicago students is never give up, have trust in yourself and hope in the world, life becomes better.

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