STEPDANCING: PORTRAIT OF A REMARRIED FAMILY
Produced and directed by Robert Lang and Deborah Magidson
Produced by Russell Floren; directed by Andrea Gutsche
Volume 21 Number 4
Talking Back is a collection of graduates talking about their high school experiences from a perspective of ten years later, and Stepdancing is two blended families, parents and children, talking about their experiences. Both could stimulate discussion about issues facing students.
Stepdancing: Portrait of a Remarried Family is a true story of two blended families. The two boys, one aged eleven, and his younger brother, their two parents and two stepparents talk openly about their lives together and apart. The children spend substantial amounts of time with each parent and become used to farewells and adjusting to two different environments. Each member is candid about his or her feelings and seems to accept the present situation although acknowledges that some of the old hurts remain. Toward the end of the video, one boy decides to move from his mother's place in Toronto to his dad's in New Hampshire, where he will join his stepmother, father and their new baby. The overall tone of the video is one of acceptance and honesty.
Talking Back consists of a series of individuals who recount their experiences in high school from the perspective of ten years later. They reflect back on their high school days and comment on issues such as being image-conscious, following role models, cliques, gangs and social status, cruelty, motivations to leave, marriage, racism and drop-outs. A very wide variety of perspectives is presented, but, overall, the message is to make good use of the program opportunities in high school.
Talking Back is made up of mostly talking heads reflecting on high school. Very little other information is provided about the circumstances of the graduates or any other perspectives on the same events.
Both these videos may strike a chord with certain classrooms. They could be used for discussion openers and comments on other people's experiences.
Meredith MacKeen is a teacher-librarian at Souris Regional High School in Souris, Prince Edward Island.
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