Price: $310.00

    Code: 2085

    Directed by Amy Gerber
    2004, available in 58 or 68 minute versions
    Purchase: $310 Classroom Rental: $125

    This timely documentary encourages Americans to think more deeply about the importance of memorials on our landscape. In light of the continuing debate surrounding the September 11th memorial design in New York, it is an excellent opportunity for the greater public to rethink the meanings and motivations behind building a memorial of such historical significance. Public Memory features interviews with historians, authors and other memorial specialists in the U.S.—including Dr. Keneth Foote, author of Shadowed Ground: America's Landscape of Tragedy and Violence, Dr. Edward T. Linenthal, author of The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory, Dr. James Loewen, author of Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong, and Dr. James Young, one of the jurors who selected the 9/11 memorial design in New York—who discuss the many ways of thinking about memorials.

    Why do some memorials move us? Why are others forgettable? What do they mean? Are they still important to us today? The video covers a specific group of memorials—including the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Pan Am Flight 103 Memorial Cairn, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and plans for the first African-American lynching monument, among others—in an attempt to answer these questions. Public Memory, through its provocative examination of what we can learn from controversial memorials and the many complex issues that involve memorializing crimes against humanity, breaks new ground by taking a fresh look at how and why the public remembers.

    Subjects & Collections


    "Thoughtful and engaging... makes a significant contribution both to our collective knowledge of past memorials and what it means to commemorate mass death." - Cineaste

    "Highly Recommended! This program provides an important discussion of memorials in American life, and is useful both for instruction and for leading discussions on the topic. The production values are excellent, and the discussion is clear and well presented. The program would be especially valuable for teaching high school students the importance of our civic memory, and reviewing our thoughts on some of the most important events in our past." - Educational Media Reviews Online

    "Highly Recommended! Public Memory offers a compelling look at honoring the past while also ensuring that future generations never forget.” - Video Librarian

    Public Memory covers so much information that students will learn something new with each subsequent viewing. An excellent, thought-provoking film that could be used across the curriculum.” - School Library Journal