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Produced by Donna Clausen; directed by Barry Casson
Casson Studios Ltd., 1994. VHS cassette, 23 min., $19.95. Distributed by Casson Studios, 901 Devonshire Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 5T9.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up

Christine Jacobs

Volume 22 Number 6
1994 November/December

This video uses the story of Sarah's (Rebecca Whitney) fall during a ballet recital as a vehicle for the struggles of Chemainus to survive after the town mill is closed. Sarah's grandfather (Gipp Forster) tells her the town history to encourage her to keep trying in her efforts to win a place in the National Ballet School (in the end she wins her place).

Chemainus, B.C., overcame the slump following the mill closure by becoming an artists' colony and by creating the Chemainus Festival of Murals. The video presents this transition in a very positive way.

This is essentially a promotional video for Chemainus. It is quite well done, and there are a fair number of old photographs included. Unfortunately, from the educational stand­point, there is little attempt made to identify the photographs or to explain any in detail.

I would recommend this video with reservations. The plot-line for the dramatized part is rather thin, but the "keep trying" advice is valid. The historical material is interesting, but superficial, and is probably of most interest for local history studies.

This is certainly not a required purchase in any other circumstances.

Christine Jacobs (Montreal, Que.) is a freelance indexer who for the past nine years has indexed films and videos for Film/Video Canadiana
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