CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 10 . . . .January 20, 2006
Episode 13 of the "My Brand New Life" television series explores the contemporary practices of two related but very different celebrations. Alexis, from Montreal, flies to Mexico to celebrate La Dia de Los Murtes, the Day of the Dead, with Alejandto's family. Alejandro, meanwhile, arrives in Montreal to spend Halloween with Alexis's family and friends. The story of the two festivities, seen through the eyes of these two young boys, contrasts (without judgment) the secular practices of trick or treating, decorating houses and wearing ghoulish costumes of Halloween with the religious traditions of purchasing flowers, candies and candles in preparation for spending the night in the cemetery to honour the dead in Mexico. In the juxtaposition of the boys' experiences, the viewer is gently exposed to elements of both middle class families and their daily activities in preparation for Alexis's and Alejandro's participation in these unfamiliar activities. While scary tales may be told, the end result is anything but terrifying. Both boys are articulate about, and accepting of, their new experiences. There is a sense of discovery in both celebrations that encourages discussion and introspection in the minds of young viewers.
Gail de Vos teaches courses at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.