CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 8 . . . . December 15, 2000
A Kid's View of Canada II
Nicolette Saina (Director). Nicolette Saina (Producer, Saina Films) Jennifer Torrance (Producer,
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1998.
46 min., 17 sec., VHS, $39.95.
Order Number: C9198 076.
Canada-Description and travel-Juvenile films.
National characteristics, Canadain-Public opinion.
Grades 5 - 9 / Ages 10 - 14.
Review by Susan Fonseca.
In 1993, Jordan Schroder travelled Canada from coast to coast and interviewed nine-year-old
Canadians to collect their views about our country as a nation. In A Kid's View of Canada II,
Jordan sets out again to catch up with a group of these youth who are now 14 years of age. Many
of the questions are repeated from the first video, but the views have significantly matured and
Each youth interviewed brings an interesting perspective and set of experiences to the
documentary. The personal nature of their interviews allows the viewers to empathize and perhaps
to compare with their own situations. These once innocent and sometimes naive nine-year-olds
have now dealt with many of life's challenges. One of the girls is struggling with health problems
that have prevented her from attending school and which have given her many insights into the
issues facing our national health programs. Another is a racquetball champion from Charlottetown
who, despite her strengths has struggled with racism and exclusion. One of the boys was
difficult to find because he has lived in many foster homes since 1993 but was fortunately
discovered living in Vancouver with a half-sister. Another has recently lost his mother and is
dealing with the finality of death and the responsibilities to his family. Several have travelled
extensively and bring a more global perspective to their ideas.
The producers have made excellent use of well-known Canadian music for the sound track. The
pace is often fast-moving with short video clips of the varied geography of Canada as the youth
share their favorite locations. The viewer is treated to a picture within a picture as television clips
from the first video reintroduce the questions. Humour abounds in the spontaneous reactions to
the questions but also through the insertion of video clips such as that involving Don Cherry's
supposedly reacting to one of the boy's comments about Cherry's personality and flair.
Interspersed throughout the video, the young Canadians recite quotes from famous people that
support the points that are being made about our unique culture.
Students viewing this video will undoubtedly see themselves or their friends in the personality
traits that are revealed through the interviews. The youth are certainly a broad representation of
the Canadians who will be running our country in twenty years. For some, this will be a sobering
thought - for others, a welcome anticipation.
The video includes excellent suggestions for classroom use which encourage the students to delve
into what they already know before they view. They are asked to look at each province and
record as much information as they can about the areas that are covered in the video. The areas
include Famous Canadians, Free Trade, Exploring Life in Quebec, Multiculturalism,
Contemporary Native Culture, Leaders of Today, and the Canadian Identity.
A Kid's View of Canada II will supplement studies on Canada and will provide an excellent
starting point for stimulating discussion about the issues facing our country in this past decade.
Susan Fonseca is a teacher-librarian at Glenwood School in St. Vital School Division, Winnipeg,
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