June 10, 2016
It’s heartening to see that, 25 years later, “Innocence Lost” is still shining light on the wrongful prosecution of the Edenton Seven – and for a younger audience! This is a note from Judy Griffin, a teacher at Hamilton High School in Michigan, who recently rediscovered Ofra Bikel’s eight-hour masterpiece:
“I want you to know how helpful it is (to have “Innocence Lost” available online). I teach in a resource room English class. The kids have no cognitive issues, but reading is a tremendous struggle. When they can receive the information through really good videos like this one, we can cover some great information.
“We start by reading Edward R. Murrow’s introduction to ‘This I Believe.’ Then the students create digital versions of their own. After that, they view ‘Good Night, and Good Luck.’ They have just learned about McCarthyism at this point in U.S. History, so it is fresh in their minds.
“We move then into The Crucible. The students are then asked to compare this to ‘Good Night, and Good Luck.’ They read ‘Why I wrote The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller.
“At the conclusion, we talk about how these hysterias are repeated and actually happened even prior to Salem. I introduce the Day Care scandal, and was thrilled to find the original ‘Frontline’ episodes. I had seen it when it aired!
“They are now researching various aspects of the hysteria. Some are looking at ‘satanic ritual abuse,’ some are looking at how hysteria spreads, some are researching what happened to the various defendants, and some are looking at the causes. We emphasize that this is not unique to any of these situations, and the point of this all is to show how vulnerable societies are to hysteria….”