Ariel Phenomenon film to screen in Oxford
Published 8:35 am Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Documentary recounts experience of schoolchildren in Zimbabwe
Ariel Phenomenon, a film that documents the account of more than 60 schoolchildren at Ariel School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, who in 1994 witnessed an unidentified craft land outside their rural African schoolyard, will be screened at Malco Oxford Studio on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.
“I am thrilled to be able to bring this film to an audience in Oxford area,” said Ariel Phenomenon director Randall Nickerson. “The movie may be about an extraordinary incident at a school in a distant land, but it is much deeper and arguably more profoundly human: how does such an event impact witnesses, their families, the investigators, and their jobs, not just in the moment but for the rest of their lives?”
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Associate producers Rebecca Rideout and Ole Miss alumni Percy Townes will be coordinating the screening.
For the eyewitness students, investigators, and those around them, what began as an investigation into the extraordinary 1994 Ariel School incident transforms into something equally as remarkable: a genuinely human story that explores what happens when you experience something so extraordinary that nobody believes you.
With a sensitive and nonsensational approach to the subject, the film highlights the journey of an Ariel School student present at the time of the event, as she travels from her home in Toronto, Canada, back to Zimbabwe in search of answers – and the courage to speak the truth.
Along the way, the audience meets Pulitzer Prize-winning psychiatrist Dr. John Mack and respected BBC war correspondent Tim Leach, both forever changed by their investigations and experiences.
As more viewers discover the Ariel School case via the popular Encounters series on Netflix, audiences whose curiosity was piqued by the event can learn the full story in the original film made on the event and its aftermath, Ariel Phenomenon.
With a cinematic score by Nathaniel Walcott (Fault in Our Stars; member, Bright Eyes), and editing/writing by Christopher Seward of Fahrenheit 911, Sicko, and Sundance Grand Jury-winning One Child Nation, the film blends stunning wildlife cinematography and a poignant musical score to create a documentary well outside the expected genre.