________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 8 . . . . December 15, 2000

cover A Kid's View of Canada II

Nicolette Saina (Director). Nicolette Saina (Producer, Saina Films) Jennifer Torrance (Producer, NFB).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1998.
46 min., 17 sec., VHS, $39.95.
Order Number: C9198 076.

Subject Headings:
Canada-Description and travel-Juvenile films.
National characteristics, Canadain-Public opinion.

Grades 5 - 9 / Ages 10 - 14.

Review by Susan Fonseca.

**** /4

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 broadened.
    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.

Highly Recommended.

Susan Fonseca is a teacher-librarian at Glenwood School in St. Vital School Division, Winnipeg, MB.

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

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ISSN 1201-9364