A line from Whitman, "There was a child went forth every day," starts this film: a visit to a farm that's a summer camp and progressive school for exploration and discovery. The children, ...
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A line from Whitman, "There was a child went forth every day," starts this film: a visit to a farm that's a summer camp and progressive school for exploration and discovery. The children, as young as two or three, have room and time to question, wonder, and learn. We build a wading pool, use tools, climb and swing, bath a dog - and learn to live together. There are spats, and little adult interference. A tree house sparks children's imagination. They visit a neighboring farm, play with the animals and ride on a tractor that's plowing. They eat and nap. There's story time, easels for art, and a lollipop. It's the perfect place for city children to be safe from bombardment, says the narrator. Written by
Who would have thought that, during his exile in Hollywood, Luis Bunuel collaborated (under the auspices of the Museum of Modern Art's film branch) with Joseph Losey, then just starting his own important(and turbulent) career? In certain aspects, this documentary about the education of war orphans which sticks close to nature but pretty much leaves them to their own devices evokes memories of the Spanish Surrealist's LAS HURDES aka LAND WITHOUT BREAD (1932), while looking forward to the film that saw his eventual artistic renaissance i.e. LOS OLVIDADOS aka THE YOUNG AND THE DAMNED (1950). On the other hand, while his Communist ideals were at the fore of Losey's preliminary work (the director's American phase), they would be much less prevalent during his refuge from political oppression in Europe. To get back to the film, or rather short, at hand: the kids' various antics quarreling amongst themselves, letting rip in mud and water, or rendered curious by the presence of animals make for generally pleasant (if hardly exciting) viewing, despite the grim undertones pertaining to their background. With this in mind, the distinct feeling which one takes from it is that these children grow up to be somewhat better prepared to face life's travails than ones whose parents may have unconsciously sheltered to the ultimate detriment of their character formation.
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