Screening Our Films

The documents below describe a number of ways you can begin fruitful discussions post-screening with your audiences. Many of your discussion points will depend on the goals and objectives related to the course or class you will be teaching. Please explore other materials on the website, in particular the transcripts and teaching points that relate to each film.

Rebirth  was aired on showtime in 2011 and won the peabody award that same year.

Rebirth was aired on showtime in 2011 and won the peabody award that same year.

Photo Patrick Fore - Unsplash.

Photo Patrick Fore - Unsplash.

The Words That Accompany The Images

The link below will bring you to the transcripts of the the nine short films. The transcripts will allow students to absorb the words of the subjects and provide a learning opportunity to identify the themes in each of the films.

Sean Robertson, Harlem Academy, NYC.

Sean Robertson, Harlem Academy, NYC.

Themes and Teaching Points

The Rebirth educational team has researched and identified relevant themes in each of the films for educators and group facilitators. Click the link below for a sampling of the themes and the film quotes that support them.


Younger Generations

Many middle school teachers have used the films with their seventh and eighth graders. They carefully select the films that work best in their classes.  Some films may not be appropriate for this age group, e.g. Nick's story, which focuses on the death of his mother.  Since these students were born well after 2001, they may be best served by focusing on the history of the day.  Sean Robertson asks his students to interview someone who was at least 18 years old on the day of the attacks.  They can get a better understanding of the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001.  Robertson says, “Typically it’s a parent or an older sibling. It gives them that personal narrative of their family and 9/11." And he adds, "A big part of the push of my curriculum is using primary sources, but also doing the work of a historian."


Students in high school and college can explore and discuss the historical and psychological importance of September 11th in great depth.  From a psychological perspective they see the impact of traumatic loss and grief; they also recognize that the people center of the films are resilient.  These films can be used in a variety of courses go beyond history course work and can be integrated in English, Psychology, Journalism and arts courses.  Students also discuss and debate how their world has changed as a result of September 11th.  They investigate how "to balance between protecting public safety and protecting First Amendment freedoms – the cornerstone rights of religious liberty, free expression and political action."  These issues are especially evident in Debbie's story.  Follow this link to learn more about the free online lessons offered at Freedom in the Balance at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  

The Journey to Community Recovery: A Toolkit for Healing the Healers.

The Journey to Community Recovery: A Toolkit for Healing the Healers.


From the first time Rebirth films were shown to professional audiences, the feedback was overwhelming;  these remarkable 20 minute documentaries could be used in all aspects of professional education and training. The films do not stand alone, they are accompanied by discussions that underscore the themes and concepts observed in the films — trauma, ambiguous loss, grief, survivor guilt, gratitude, and resilience, just to name a few.  These in depth conversations reinforced teaching points and were readily addressed in group discussions. Online accessibility made them available in the classroom and on the computer.  Learn more about using the films and discussions by following the link below.