[Chicago Crossings: Bridges and Boundaries, reel 48; Spertus Museum & R.J. Daley]

Rebecca, a docent from the Spertus Museum of Judaica, guides a group of young schoolchildren through their 1994 exhibition, "Bridges and Boundaries: Chicago Crossings." Also present is a Kartemquin Films crew, who captures the children's conversations about gangs, morality, and Judaism.

1:20Copy video clip URL Kartemquin’s Jerry Blumenthal asks a group of schoolchildren what their neighborhoods are like. The kids begin to talk about the divisive nature of their neighborhoods and the prominence of gang violence, each kid with their own stories about interactions with gangs.

6:25Copy video clip URL The children enter Claire Wolf Krantz’s area of the gallery and begin to read the Unetanah Tokef prayer in unison from Krantz’s “Book of Life.”

8:20Copy video clip URL After the children make conjectures about what they think the prayer means, Rebecca—a docent—then attempts to explain its true meaning. Her question, “are you good all year?” elicits an endless stream of stories from the children confessing their naughty behavior.

14:50Copy video clip URL The group moves on to Kerry James Marshall’s work, and the children are all eager to talk about their extensive familiarity with the 6-pointed star and its incarnation as a gang symbol.

18:45Copy video clip URL Rebecca asks if anyone has heard of the Holocaust before, to which the children reply, “what?” “holy cross?” The children continue to discuss the gang references in Marshall’s work.

 

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