The hills are alive with the sound of music
Are you worried that your children might be suffering from Affluenza, a degenerative virus pervasive among the world’s affluent cultures? Many of America’s youth can easily grow up insulated from an understanding of the human condition. Here are some recommended films for introducing affluent children to the larger world.

All these films are kid friendly. They are about children and are not too traumatic. The only mature subject presented is the world view.

While you endure your daily travails in the security of American suburbia, ninety percent of families on earth live in houses with a single room and no furniture. Meals are prepared and served on the floor, and the floor is of dirt.

Here are three films which can provide a gentle visual introduction to the reality of impoverished humanity: Baraka, Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation and Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance. Each of these feature photographic images set to music, from Philip Glass to classical. Latcho Drom is another film without dialog. It depicts the traditional Gypsy migration from India to Spain, told entirely in musical performances.

For examples of children showing determination under adversity, with subtitles, Children of Heaven tells of a brother and sister in Iran who must share a pair of shoes. Another warm depiction of everyday muslim life is The White Balloon. A child’s upbringing in India is portrayed in Satyajit Ray’s 1954 masterpiece Pather Panchali.

For children who are ready for a little more adversity there’s A Time For Drunken Horses about boys hired to smuggle goods into Iraqi Kurdistan. For a light hearted glimpse of the challenges faced by Romany beggars there is The Time of the Gypsies and Mondo.

And now for something completely different, in English, here’s a humorous look at the life of the Bushmen of the Kalihari, The Gods Must Be Crazy. Another incredible tale, set on the coast of Ireland, The Secret of Roan Inish offers an appreciation of the mystical possibilities of life.

To see this collection for growing minds at TOONS.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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