mürmur had the opportunity to preview an early screening of Song of Parkland at HBO headquarters in Midtown New York.
Song of Parkland tells the story of Parkland drama teacher Melody Herzfeld and her students.
Directed by Amy Schatz, the 30-minute documentary follows the production of Go! Vikings, the musical the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas were rehearsing the day of the shooting.
For students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, it was through song that they attempted to overcome their trauma.
It started through text message. They were sad, angry, confused and hurt. Once they returned back to school, Melody helped put those words into lyrics.
They wrote over 30 songs in total, and all were placed on a Google doc. Three of those songs made it into the documentary.
For her work as an influential educator, Melody was honored at the most recent Tony Awards.
If you are worried that this documentary will be too hard to watch, don’t be. The doc is much more hopeful than it is tragic: from pain, comes triumph. As soon as they returned to school, Melody’s infamous tough love takes charger. The students put on their Go! Vikings show as planned, and the entire Parkland Community comes together to watch it as a celebration of life, love, and peace.
The screening ended with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a Q&A with director Amy Schatz, Melody and her two students Ashley and Alex.
From that Q&A, we found out that the drama students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas have made a lasting impact on the Parkland Community. Ashley is highly involved in Camp Shine, an art therapy camp for students coping with trauma. Alex, who you might recognize from Time magazine, continues being an activist for March For Our Lives, and hopes to “make activism cool again”. Not surprisingly, the 2018 mid-term elections in Florida had the highest voting rate in 25 years for the 18-23 demographic.
They put on a community-wide show, they sang at the Tonys, and they started a national movement, but they don’t want us to forget that they are still just kids.