CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Produced and directed by Robert Lang and Deborah Magidson
Kensington Communications, 1987. VHS cassette, 27 min., $99.95
Distributed by Lynx Images, 606-174 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ont. M5T 2C2


Produced by Russell Floren; directed by Andrea Gutsche
Images Inc., 1992. VHS cassette, 27 min., $99.95
Distributed by Lynx Images, 606-174 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ont. M5T 2C2

Grades 9 and up/Ages 14 and up

Reviewed by Meredith MacKeen.

Volume 21 Number 4
1993 September

Talking Back is a collection of graduates talking about their high school experiences from a perspective of ten years later, and Stepdancing is two blended families, parents and children, talking about their experiences. Both could stimulate discussion about issues facing students.

Stepdancing: Portrait of a Remarried Family is a true story of two blended families. The two boys, one aged eleven, and his younger brother, their two parents and two step­parents talk openly about their lives together and apart. The children spend substantial amounts of time with each parent and become used to farewells and adjusting to two different environments. Each member is candid about his or her feelings and seems to accept the present situation although acknowledges that some of the old hurts remain. Toward the end of the video, one boy decides to move from his mother's place in Toronto to his dad's in New Hampshire, where he will join his stepmother, father and their new baby. The overall tone of the video is one of acceptance and honesty.

Talking Back consists of a series of individuals who recount their experiences in high school from the perspective of ten years later. They reflect back on their high school days and comment on issues such as being image-conscious, following role models, cliques, gangs and social status, cruelty, motivations to leave, marriage, racism and drop-outs. A very wide variety of perspec­tives is presented, but, overall, the message is to make good use of the program opportuni­ties in high school.

Talking Back is made up of mostly talking heads reflecting on high school. Very little other information is provided about the circumstances of the graduates or any other perspectives on the same events.

Both these videos may strike a chord with certain classrooms. They could be used for discussion openers and comments on other people's experiences.

Meredith MacKeen is a teacher-librarian at Souris Regional High School in Souris, Prince Edward Island.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are 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 Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works