Last week on Tuesday English Class fourth and fifth graders participated in a national documentary film project for kids that is part of a media education plan organized by DocPoint, the Helsinki Documentary Film Festival Society. Pupils and their teachers went to Finnkino to see three short documentary films that told about obstacles faced by children.
The first film was Dutch and followed the life of Bente, a girl who participated in Voice Kids in Holland. The film allowed viewers to share the highs and lows of the emotional journey that Bente embarked on. She eventually questions, for example, the sincerity of her sudden popularity at school. What is genuine and what isn’t.
The second short film was Swedish. The film portrayed the warm relationship of a boy and his maternal grandfather. When his grandfather passes on, it became clear that in a fashion his grandfather lived on in the experiences that he had once shared with his grandson.
The third short documentary struck a chord with most English Class pupils, maybe because it was a Finnish film, maybe because the theme was so relevant. A fifth grade class in Vantaa wanted to have a disco as a fund raiser, but their behaviour had not earned them enough stars to make this possible. Would they or wouldn’t they succeed at their goal?
All 3 of the documentaries successfully raised issues that pupils could relate to. The discussions in the classrooms following the films were insightful and demonstrated that the films hit their target. Warm thanks to DocPoint for making this experience available!