5.5/10
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2 user 1 critic

A Child Went Forth (1942)

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, ... See full summary »

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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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | Short

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January 1942 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Composer Hanns Eisler arranged parts of the music for this film as the Suite for Septet No. 1, op.92a (Variations on American Children's Songs). See more »

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User Reviews

 
A lovely documentary of 3 to 7 year old kids in a country haven during World War II
27 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

A Child Went Forth is a pleasant bit of film that evidenced to frightened parents suffering the London bombings during World War II, that a safe haven existed in the English countryside where for a while they could place their youngest children out of harm's way.

The title is from a Walt Whitman poem about childhood...basically that every day a child lives, anything he touches becomes part of that child forevermore. A flower petal, a puppy, cool pond water, kind words from his adult caregiver, a loving hug, yummy food treats...anything at all. I'll provide a bit of the verse for reference:

"THERE was a child went forth every day; And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became; And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child, And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird..."

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Some nudity while the toddlers frolic about in the pond is naturally captured in this short film and is complimentary to the setting, inasmuch as that was how younger children normally played in swimming water at the time.

No source of this film for sale is currently available, but a successful search on the internet will find a British historical web site which offers downloads of this film in several different formats.

For those persons who are interested in Great Brittain war time history, this classic short film is important, as it addresses an area that has normally been completely ignored...the younger child of war.


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