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Pay It Forward
Director: Mimi Leder
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment,
et al.
Length: 141 minutes
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Warner Home Video

Trevor has just started the 7th grade. His teacher, Mr. Simonton, gives the class an assignment to create a project that can change the world. He invites the students to step into the world of possibility with the assignment and that's just what Trevor does.

Living with his divorced, alcoholic mother, Trevor feels there is a lot of pain in the world and he wants to change that.  His project is to do something really significant for three other people, something that is hard and courageous. When the recipient offers to "pay him back" he tells them to "pay it forward" to three more people.  With this model he hopes to touch people throughout the world with kindness and generosity and ultimately change the world into a gentler place.

Trevor chooses a homeless drug addict, Mr. Simonton, and a classmate who is bullied by others, as the three recipients of his acts of kindness.  The film tells the story of Tevor's three acts of goodwill and what happens as a result of each of his actions. At first it appears that Trevor's efforts are wasted and that no good comes of them.  But as the film unfolds, we begin to see that his project does have an impact, but in ways that he didn't anticipate.

The film speaks to us of possibility, faith and commitment. And it reinforces what we all know and want to believe:  a sole individual, even one as young as Trevor can make a difference in the world. There is a price to pay, however, to make a difference in the world. There is also a price we pay when we live life passively.  Watch this film and see what you conclude about stepping into the realm of possibility and changing the world. 

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