Healing History is a short documentary following the work of performance poet, writer and educator, Mwalimu Melodye Micëre Van Putten, in the USA and Bermuda.
Van Putten challenges Europe centered histories by teaching African centered principles and values, utilizing various modalities to instill motivation, self-esteem and pride, including movement, music and poetry. Film scenes reveal her techniques with children and capture compelling discussions with adults while simultaneously highlighting the positive psychological benefits of an African centered education for a history in need of healing.
Filmmaker Kristin Alexander is an award winning documentary cinematographer and editor. Her work highlights insightful stories globally. Trusting Rain, winner of Best Short Documentary at the Blue Ridge Film Festival, explored the special environmental relationship the island of Bermuda has with rainwater for everyday use. Filmmaker Magazine called Trusting Rain “visually entrancing.” She has several short award-winning documentaries, yielding the Directors Award at the Woods Hole Film and Creative Use of Cinema at Athens, GA, among others.
Co-produced by Mwalimu Melodye Micëre Van Putten, Healing History has as its purpose and intention to encourage dialogue and action amongst educators and school administrators, clergy and congregates, as well as community activists and local leaders by demonstration; young people respond affirmatively when the message is specifically directed toward them and incased in the powerful vehicle of culture. There is a clear need for historical and cultural education to motivate, inspire and uplift young people of African descent who are too often marginalized in their school experiences, tragically contributing to academic underachievement and societal alienation.
The process of Healing History begins with children of African descent; to heal them of history’s invisible wounds requires cultural grounding, values and expectations for a glorious future based on self-knowledge for self-empowerment. MLK writes that Black children must be taught “…a majestic sense of self-worth.” Knowledge of self – one’s own history and culture along with lessons found therein – is absolutely necessary. Mwalimu Van Putten is available for film screenings and discussion.