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My Childhood (1972)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 530 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 8 critic

The first part of Bill Douglas' influential trilogy harks back to his impoverished upbringing in early-'40s Scotland. Cinema was his only escape - he paid for it with the money he made from... See full summary »

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Title: My Childhood (1972)

My Childhood (1972) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stephen Archibald ...
Hughie Restorick ...
Tommy
Jean Taylor Smith ...
Karl Fieseler ...
Helmuth
Bernard McKenna ...
Paul Kermack ...
Helena Gloag ...
Ann Smith ...
Jamie's Mother
Eileen McCallum ...
Nurse
Helen Rae ...
Bus Conductress
James Eccles ...
Man Singing
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Storyline

The first part of Bill Douglas' influential trilogy harks back to his impoverished upbringing in early-'40s Scotland. Cinema was his only escape - he paid for it with the money he made from returning empty jam jars - and this escape is reflected most closely at this time of his life as an eight-year-old living on the breadline with his half-brother and sick grandmother in a poor mining village. Written by J Ward

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Biography | Drama

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31 July 2013 (France)  »

Also Known As:

My Childhood  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

A colour print was accidentally made in 1993 to tie in with the launch of the book "Bill Douglas: A Lanternist's Account". The lab were told to make a new print, but did not know they had to print the film in black and white. The colour version was screened once only, in Edinburgh. See more »

Connections

Followed by My Way Home (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pure cinema at its finest
21 January 2009 | by (Highland Park, IL) – See all my reviews

When we first started watching this, I thought it was a documentary. It reminded me of Ken Loach. We watched part of "My Childhood" but then needed to finish it the next evening. I had a sense of dread when we sat down to view it again. The hard cruelty and insanity of this child's family, and most adults except the German worker. There are moments when I was confused thinking this was Jamie's father, so warm were their interactions. These films are work but well worth the effort; a full meal. Reminded me of the "pure cinema" of Robert Bresson and "Au Husard Balthasar", to some extent; good children battling the harshness of the world, and the people in it. There were times when Jamie is sitting curled up under that table or outside when I despaired he would do injury to himself. I was so hoping when he fell backward onto that coal train, he would just keep going along with it. The previous comments from the gentleman who grew up in similar circumstances in a Scottish industrial town were very moving to me. His being reminded of his own childhood is a testament to Bill Douglas' gift of storytelling and marks these films very important indeed. The work of Terence Davies must have been influenced by Douglas, I thought of his "Distant Voices, Still Lives" quite a bit. There is an indictment of growing up in wartime U.K. that can't be ignored, and ultimately, the perils of growing up in poverty. I have to recommend the Bill Douglas Trilogy to anyone who appreciates a cinema verite film-making experience, but not for the faint of heart.


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