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ISBN: 9780889203860 - Nfb Kids
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Nfb Kids

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Brian J. Low

ISBN: 9780889203860
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press


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This study deconstructs "panoramas of childhood" in Canadian society as reflected by 50 years of archived films from the National Film Board of Canada. Themes include democracy, progressive education in a rural community, mental hygiene, and social relations. Includes a list of 300 NFB films featuring prominent portrayals of youth, and film scene p

 

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Imagine a society that exists solely in cinema -- this book explores exactly that. Using a half-century of films from the archival collection of the National Film Board, NFB Kids: Portrayals of Children by the National Film Board of Canada, 1939-1989 overcomes a long-standing impasse about what films may be credibly said to document. Here they document not "reality," but social images preserved over time -- the "NFB Society" -- an evolving, cinematic representation of Canadian families, schools and communities. During the postwar era, this society-in-cinema underwent a profound change in its child rearing and schooling philosophies, embracing "modern" notions based upon principles espoused by the American mental hygiene movement. Soon after the introduction of these psychological principles into NFB homes in 1946 and schools in 1956, there was a subtle transformation in adult-child relations, which progressively, over time, narrowed the gulf of power between generations and diminished the socializing roles of the NFB parents and teachers. NFB Kids is a pioneering study within a new field of academic research -- "cinema ethnography." It adds to the growing body of knowledge about the function, and the considerable impact of, psychiatry and psychology in the post-war social reconstruction of Canadian society and social history. It will be of interest to academics over a broad spectrum of disciplines and to anyone thinking about the advancing arbitrary power of the cinematic state.