Thursday, January 17, 2013

That was a bit different...

Living in another culture certainly presents its fair share of surprises, and happily the vast, vast majority of them are good / happy / great for a laugh.

I guess we'll look back on this one like that, but, at the moment, maybe not so much.

Yesterday, daughter #1 (1st year of High School) came home talking about a movie they had watched at school. She was a bit disturbed by it - nothing major, just a bit bothered. It was on Youtube, so we found it and last night I watched it.

It was a New York Times documentary about a family in Pakistan, and the effect that the Taliban had on their life. I think (although I am not sure) that the daughter in the film was the girl who was shot recently by the Taliban - an event that made world headlines.

Anyway - it was pretty confronting, I guess because a lot of what the Taliban is doing in this area of Pakistan is pretty confronting. We saw decapitated bodies, judicial beatings, and at one point we saw a close up video of someone being executed by being shot in the head with an AK-47!

An interesting choice to show to a bunch of 13 year olds!

It was tricky though, because apart from those scenes, it was a very good illustration of what happens when there is a different rule of law - and I think that is exactly the point the teacher was trying to make. But whoa - maybe there might have been some careful editing, or at least some sort of warning to "look away now if you have a sensitive stomach"

We wrote a letter to the head teacher, but as we were writing I was thinking about the violent society we live in and the gruesome pictures we see on the front page of the paper every day - I wonder if the teacher who reads our letter will think we are just being a bit soft?

But then again, I suspect quite a few parents might be thinking the same thing as us - but it takes more than thinking to try and counteract a cultural trend.

1 comment:

Veronica Box said...

We also have issues in Slovenia with differences in attitudes to films and what is appropriate for children. There are no ratings in Slovenia (I think that is normal for Europe in general). There are no rules about what teachers or schools can or cannot show. So we have learnt that we need to be extra careful about theatre performances our children attend and check them out beforehand. Unfortunately there is usually no heads up in terms of movies they watch. I guess we have to train our children to remove themselves or turn away if they are uncomfortable. Its hard - Slovenes just don't understand that we would not want our children to see sex and violence at a young age. They think we are weird.