________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 18 . . . . May 7, 1999

cover Children Speak.

Bozenna Heczko & Georgine Strathy (Directors). Barrie McLean and Marcy Page (Producers).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1997.
9 min. 18 sec., VHS, $29.95.
Order Number: C9196 079.

Subject Headings:
Children and death.
Children and philosophy.

Preschool and up / Ages 4 and up.
Review by Brian Rountree.

*** /4

Here is a charming short film featuring children speaking about topics which adults often avoid. The children share personal views on death and reincarnation, on how one gets born, and descriptions of heaven and hell.

      Although the subject matter comes from the Judeo-Christian culture, what the children present is spiritual but not from a particular religious group or source. The children talk freely, and the discussion about Mother Nature and God is humorous.

      One strength of this film is the use of the children's voices and their personal views being expressed. A resulting difficulty is that some of the speech is unclear because there is a group of children ages five to seven involved in the presentation.

      Because the topics flow quickly from one to another, it becomes harder for a leader to decide to find a place to stop and have a discussion on any parts of the program.

      Margie Golick, PhD, is quoted inside the case cover as saying: "It provides a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on children talking spontaneously, and a startling insight into their views about birth and death and the supernatural."

      The illustrations are colourful and whimsical, blending beautifully with the topics the children mention.

      Meghan Gould [age 6] watched the video with her mother, three times. She enjoyed it very much and did not find the discussion of hell to be scary. She thought it was good to get kids to talk about these topics. She said those kids don't have the answers. She feels that we have a spirit and go to heaven when we die.

      Target audiences include children ages 5 to 8, child development classes at high school or adult levels, plus church study groups, and professionals interested in child development such as psychologists, teachers, and social workers, is the opinion of Golick.


Rev. Brian Rountree ministers to the congregation of Church of the Advent [Anglican], Pine Falls, MB. Brian is also the Sec-Treas. for the Canadian School Library Association.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364