High School Impact Series

Harnessing the Power of Film to Spark Conversation

Here is a quick overview of our 2022 High School Impact Films:

Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America

Interweaving lecture, personal anecdotes, interviews, and revelations, ACLU deputy legal director Jeffery Robinson draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to modern America. (Runtime: 118 Minutes)


The Sacrifice Zone

The Ironbound district of Newark, New Jersey, is one of the most toxic neighborhoods in the country — in a one-mile stretch, residents live with a sewage treatment facility, an animal fat rendering plant, and chemical storage. Maria Lopez, a Honduran-American resident there, is waging a war for environmental justice. The Sacrifice Zone follows Maria as she leads a group of warriors who are fighting to break the cycle of poor communities of color serving as dumping grounds, so the rest of us can live in comfortable ignorance.

Runtime: 30 minutes


Civil War (or Who Do We Think We Are?) 

Documentary filmmaker Rachel Boynton travels across the United States exploring how Americans tell the story of the Civil War. Filmed from the last year of Obama’s presidency through 2021, Boynton interweaves scenes and interviews filmed in the North and the South, painting a multifaceted portrait of the American psyche and the deep roots of its turbulent times, and laying bare a nation haunted by an embittered past and the stories it refuses to tell.

Runtime: 1:40


Meltdown in Dixie

In the wake of the 2015 Charleston Massacre, a battle erupts in Orangeburg, South Carolina between the Sons of Confederate Veterans and an ice cream shop owner forced to fly the Confederate flag in his parking lot. The film explores the broader role of Confederate symbolism in the 21st century and the lingering racial oppression which these symbols help maintain.

Runtime: 40 minutes


Us Kids

From Peabody Award-winning Director Kim Snyder comes an insightful, rousing coming-of-age story of a generation of youth leaders determined to take the reigns and fight for justice at a most critical time in our nation’s history. Sparked by the plague of gun violence ravaging their schools, Us Kids chronicles the March For Our Lives movement over the course of several years, following X Gonzalez, its co-founders, survivors and a group of teenage activists as they pull off the largest youth protest in American history and set out across the country and globally to build an inclusive and unprecedented youth movement that addresses racial justice, a growing public health crisis and shocking a political system into change.

Runtime: 1:38


For more information:  Montclair Film’s High School Impact Series