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Produced by Nicolette Saina, Jerry Krepakevich and Graydon McCrea; directed by Nicolette Saina
Saina Productions in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada, 1992. VHS cassette, 28 min., $26.95
Distributed by the NFB.

Grades 3 to 6/Ages 8 to 11

Reviewed by Ellen Heaney

Volume 22 Number 5
1994 October

Nicolette Saina, along with her nine-year-old son Jordan, has produced a fascinating Canadian mosaic of opinion and belief. It should properly be called A Kids' View of Canada, since it represents the ideas of over forty children from Sooke, British Columbia, to Charlottetown.

Cutting from place to place, Jordan interviews boys and girls from a variety of backgrounds, asking about their thoughts on Canada as a country, whether kids could govern, what the causes of racism are, and where Canadians have come from. One of my favourite segments is the request that the children being interviewed name some famous Canadians. The boy in Banff names Steve Podborski and Karen Percy; an Indo-Canadian girl in Vancouver mentions Farley Mowat; a prairie farm boy names Brian Mulroney and (gulp!) George Bush. The Metis child in Winnipeg asks the camera operator to pan to the Louis Riel memorial.

The youngsters are in the main thoughtful and well informed. If the interviews were indeed unrehearsed, as Jordan says during a brief introduction, they are particularly impressive. The children act naturally and speak articulately.

This video would be useful in sparking classroom discussion and as an eye-opener for parents and teachers as to what concerns young children in this country. The scenery of Canada shown in the background throughout is certainly a bonus.

The teacher's guide mentioned on the box consists of liner notes which include writing and speaking activities and questions to direct classroom debate.

Recommended for elementary schools and for larger video collections in public libraries.

Ellen Heaney is Head of the Children's Department at New Westminster Public Library.

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