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Name That Trauma:: Reader Robert on Stressful Seventies Shorts

December 10th, 2012 by unkle lancifer · 3 Comments

Hi,

Great website, your readers helped me with my brother’s trauma before and I am hoping to get help with mine.

Back in elementary school, my teacher would show us these educational short films on a film projector. These movies from what I remember were from the 70′s and served to teach kids some lesson about life. In actuality, I found these films to be terrifying and stressful. These movies showed children in impossible situations from which there was no apparent escape from, as they would often end abruptly without resolution. I believe the “go f–k yourself” endings served to promote discussion in the classroom on how to resolve the issue presented in the short.

Here are a few of the crazy ones. A girl witnesses her friends engage in reckless behavior with her imagining the possible deadly consequences of their actions. The short ends with her friends pressuring her to jump in front of a car to “see if it stops in time.” Another one involves the new kid in class being brutally bullied by some jerk. The harassment continues into after school hours, where the bully chases the boy into a secluded area. The victim hides in a barn, but makes it seem that he is hiding in the rafters. As the bully is climbing a ladder to continue his abuse, the boy pushes the ladder down causing the bully to fall. This one ends with bully lying injured and pleading for help from the new kid. A third one involves a little girl overloaded with responsibility of school, chores, and babysitting. It ends with the girl breaking down over a pile of dirty dishes as she sees no help in sight.

The one I need help with, actually has a resolution. The story begins with single dad and daughter who perform a Punch and Judy show for kids. One day as the man is performing the show, he has a heart attack and dies painfully in front of an audience of children. The daughter is understandably traumatized as is the viewer by this turn of events. For the rest of the short the girl remains mute and withdrawn. Eventually at some family get together she notices some little kids have discovered her dad’s Punch and Judy set. This story ends with daughter finally coming out of her shell, when she puts on a Punch and Judy show for the kids. This one had a somewhat nice ending, but was too much of a sad story for a classroom of 1st graders.

Thanks again for the past help.

Robert

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 HexjumperNo Gravatar // Dec 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I remember these! They were Canadian in origin, I think – each of them, if I remember correctly, would end with the logo for the Canadian government’s equivalent of PBS.

    I saw the one with the kid’s who bullied and winds up hurting his bully, another one where somebody reaches for a buried hand grenade on a trip to a former army training ground and winds up hurting themselves badly – there’s one more, but I can’t remember it just now.

    And it drove me _berserk_ when they would just end without any sort of resolution whatsoever.

  • 2 Shane_MNo Gravatar // Dec 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    The tv show that had the episodes with no endings was called “Inside-Out”, I used to see them during the 80′s on PBS. The other one you mention I barely remember, I think it was an ABC Weekend Special or Afternoon one. I remember there was a theme song with the little girl singing a song called “The Show Must Go On”.

  • 3 Shane_MNo Gravatar // Dec 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Here is a link to a site dedicated to Inside/Out.
    http://www.rickstv.com/tvo/insideout.html

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