Saturday, 30 June 2012

Children and Nature in Film

There's a lot of talk these days about nature deficit disorder, the idea that many children (and adults) today don't get enough contact time with nature and suffer for that in terms of poorer physical, mental and emotional well being.

Two films in the Edinburgh International Film Festival focus on children who spend a lot of time in nature, but that doesn't mean they don't have problems!

Of Skies and Earth focusses in the lives of four young Filipino boys who have left home for various reasons and are living in an abandoned hut in the countryside. They seem very self sufficient but need to go into the nearby town to look for work. They really struggle to make any money at all until they wheedle their way into working at the local slaughterhouse (cue some gruesome scenes for the vegetarians amongst us). This doesn't all go according to plan and the boys find themselves drifting into petty crime and sniffing solvents. What seems at the beginning like an almost idyllic life is shown to be a gateway into something much less appealing.

There's an interesting conversation at one point between two of the boys, the younger one of whom wants to stop looking for work in the city and return to their mountain home where it's beautiful and peaceful but the older one disagrees and says the city is better, as there are more people and more jobs (though those people are unfriendly and the jobs hard to find!). 

Kid Thing is a disturbing film about a child who is basically out of control. Annie lives on a goat farm in the USA, with her father, who pays her very little attention. She spends a lot of time in the local woods, where her favourite activities seem to be destroying trees and squashing insects. One day she comes across a woman who has fallen down a well. Is this Annie's opportunity to learn some positive attitudes towards other people?


These films are part of Edinburgh International Film Festival. There are no more showings of either film.

Disclaimer: I have a press pass for the Edinburgh International Film Festival and attended free press screenings of these films. 

As ever, text in red contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more. 

5 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Interesting movies. I would love to see children of today more into enjoying nature and the great outdoors. Nice review. I hope you have a happy weekend!

eileeninmd said...

Interesting movies. I would love to see children of today more into enjoying nature and the great outdoors. Nice review. I hope you have a happy weekend!

Naquillity said...

oh, these two sound really good. i tried to view Of Skies and Earth but the video quality was blurry. i think it's something on my end as i updated my adobe system and it could have interfered with the playing of this video somehow. anyway, thanks for all these reviews. i'm enjoying them. have a great day~

Charlotte, Cottontails said...

Both films sound really interesting - I shall hunt them out. I read the post originally thinking there might be some content to link to from Cottontails - children etc, nature etc... but these sound a bit too dark for the Cottontails world. Good for me though, as I say I'll look them up... Thanks Juliet x

Crafty Green Poet said...

Eileen, yes nature is a great place to be!

Naquillity - sorry you couldn't view the trailer properly!

Charlotte - yes, they are dark films and you're right, not right for the Cottontails world!