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National Film Board of Canada, 1989. VHS cassette, 76:00 min. and 93:00 min. For purchase information, refer to page 3. Includes teacher's guide.
Distributed by NFB Educational, D - 5, P.O. Box 6100, Station A, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3H5

Grades 6 to 11/Ages 11 to 16
Reviewed by Gordon D. Heasley.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

Alive in the Nuclear Age is a video anthology produced for young people aged eleven to sixteen to deal with the complex and troubling issues surround­ing nuclear technology.

Desiree McGraw and Maxime Faille, two university student members of Students Against Global Extermination, host the twelve short program episodes. Each program provides basic informa­tion presented intelligently and factually which will act as a catalyst for classroom discussion and follow-up activities. Though put into sequence by the NFB, the episodes can be selectively chosen and used according to classroom needs and requirements.

The episodes, which range in length from 8 to 17 minutes, focus on such issues as the feelings of Canadian and Russian youth, the development of arms, the use of conventional and nuclear weapons during war and their possible results, and the use of nuclear technology in reactors and medicine.

Excerpts from various recognizable Canadian sources (NFB documentaries, CBC shows such as "The Nature of Things," Atomic Energy of Canada releases, and so on) encourage students "to act to make a difference." Students are presented with questions about very complex issues: What are our feelings about nuclear war? About Hiroshima and Nagasaki? About nuclear power? About world poverty and the arms race? Students are forced into some very serious soul searching - simple answers are not provided.

Each episode is gripping, pertinent and well suited to the target audience and specific topic in typical NFB style. In the teacher's guide, episode-by-episode objectives are listed. In addition to pre- and post-viewing activities, a list of additional resources is provided.

This anthology forces an intense, thoughtful investigation of all the issues surrounding nuclear energy.


Gordon D. Heasley, Elora Senior Public School, Elora, Ont.
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