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Children Digging for Clams (1896)

Enfants pêchant des crevettes (original title)

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One toddler and about ten children, not yet adolescents, use a shovel, rakes, and nets to scour an eddy by the sea as fully-dressed women (hats and all) and a few men look on and give ... See full summary »
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One toddler and about ten children, not yet adolescents, use a shovel, rakes, and nets to scour an eddy by the sea as fully-dressed women (hats and all) and a few men look on and give advice. The boys are in short pants; the girls have pulled up their skirts and petticoats and stuck in their sashes. Not a clam is to be seen, although one lass checks her net a couple of times. The children's outfits (trim hats on each child and lace on each girl) suggest wealth and high society. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Documentary

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1896 (France)  »

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Children Digging for Clams  »

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Pleasant & Engaging
10 March 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This pleasant and engaging Lumière feature is enjoyable to watch, and it also shows the feel that Lumière had for choosing subject matter for his pioneering movies. As simple as it is, the footage of children digging for clams works in itself, and it can also help to conjure up other childhood memories and activities.

The children seem to have having a great time, whether or not they catch anything. Their zeal for a simple task (which an adult would probably consider to be work) is similar to many other things that the young do in exploring the natural world, and it is worthwhile just to see such eager innocence.

It's also interesting to note that almost all of the children take no notice of the camera, intent as they are on their quest for clams. One girl, though, very obviously cannot resist an occasional peek at the camera, and it makes for some endearing moments. The nice clothing that the children are wearing (while playing in the mud) just seems to add to the overall effect.

The whole scene is set up nicely, so as to catch a lot in the camera field. It's a simple, pleasant feature of the kind that still retains its appeal even many years later.


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