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Bluebird (2004 TV Movie)
6/10
Good portrayal of intense bullying - unrealistic outcome
3 February 2011
Merel is the "perfect" child - the mother's good daughter who lovingly cares for her disabled younger brother; an ideal student from the teacher's perspective, she knows all the answers. This last trait leads to her being bullied at school. The acting is very good.

The scenes are good enough to serve as talking points, but the bullying may be too intense for many kids experiencing such abuse.

The film also has it's limits. The mother is too accepting of Merel's explanation that her skateboard fell into a canal (thrown there by her peers) and the resolution at the end - not to be mentioned as a spoiler - is simply too simplistic and not at all realistic.
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9/10
Very Good
1 October 2006
I've enjoyed watching this program on the History Channel, here in the US. It is now being rebroadcast (10/1/06), beginning, oddly, with the Norman Invasion.

Being multilingual, I do enjoy the emphasis upon WORDS by Melvyn Bragg. Particularly helpful is the provision of the background historical context. The section on the English bible was enjoyed.

Missing are other aspects of language, such as changes in grammar, syntax, punctuation, et cetera. Notably glossed over is the "great vowel shift" which made Chaucer's English sound more familiar to our modern ears. During the time of Chaucer, vowels were pronounced differently, but with the changes that came afterwards, words took on sounds familiar to us today.

All in all, however, an enjoyable program. While I wish it was on DVD, there is a book available.
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