Holocaust Survivor Film Captures Attention Of U.S. Congress / Filmmaker Shocked

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American Blackguard and Clay Stafford's harrowing "One Of The Miracles: The Inge Meyring Smith Story" documentary gets recognition in U. S. Congress.

A great work, especially worthy of remembering. - U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn

When U.S. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn saw a preview of director Clay Stafford’s new film “One of the Miracles: The Inge Meyring Smith Story,” she felt compelled to mention it on the Congressional floor this past week calling it a “great work,” a story “especially worthy of remembering.” Filmmaker Clay Stafford was shocked.

Complete with a beautiful symphonic score also produced by Stafford, “One of the Miracles” is the deeply moving personal story of Inge Meyring Smith, a historic Holocaust survivor and American Civil Rights early-education pioneer who became the light of learning for thousands of children in the American South. She survived yellow benches, the Nazis who killed her family, American prejudice, the Ku Klux Klan, and the march for racial equality.

“We’ve been humbled at the response to the film,” Stafford said. “The reception to this movie keeps building.” WAKM said it was “a thrilling and inspirational story”. Williamson Herald called it “harrowing”. The Tennessean declared it “miraculous, a life that would influence thousands of children for years to come.” The Albany (NY) Times Union wrote it was a “mesmerizing true life story”. It was an official selection at the Utopian Film Festival in Washington, D.C. “To us, it was clearly a life-changing story that needed to be told and recorded, but we never could have anticipated the response,” Stafford said. “Never in my life would I think that our names and this film would have been mentioned in the Congressional Record of the 113th U.S. Congress.”

During the German Holocaust, Inge’s Jewish family barely escaped with their lives. Having only $15 in the family’s pocket when they arrived in the U.S., Inge’s family swore to survive. She moved to Tennessee. She had barely lived through yellow benches in Germany and what she saw in the South was segregated water fountains. “It was ignorance more than prejudice,” she said, but she had seen from the extermination of her own family where prejudice and ignorance unchecked could lead. Hand-picked by the Kennedy/Johnson administration to help develop a new national preschool education program called Head Start, Smith – a woman and a Jew – went South to Mississippi at peril again to her own life. Through her international efforts via independent school associations, out of her passion to reach children in unreachable parts of the U.S. as well as at her own backdoor, untold thousands of children have been inspired to learn through her efforts and those she has influenced over the past 70 years. She’s been called an American inspiration. Congresswoman Blackburn called her “a gift to us from the Almighty”. Smith points to her children and great-grandchildren living safely and prospering and says, “That’s the American dream.”

The full 96-minute film is available online for private advance review. For more info or to set up an interview with Inge Smith or filmmaker Clay Stafford, contact Mike Bunch at 615-599-4032 or media(at)americanblackguard(dot)com.

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