From the opening scenes of a young Indigenous girl playing around her country home, to a man coming, and taking her away to a completely foreign place, I knew that this was going to be a saddening and dark documentary. The following scene includes the young girl previously seen, having her hair cut short by the nuns at the residential school. To me, this was a very strong scene as it shows how degrading these schools were, and just how desperate they were trying to erase the Native culture. The exaggerated “clipping” sound, works to amplify the importance of the scene immensely.
Throughout the remainder of the film there were various other sequences that really hit you emotionally, and aid greatly to display the thesis. A couple of these scenes include when the girl is forced to hold her tongue, and when Glen is punished for not speaking English. The film also makes use of great film conventions such as interviews, lighting, camera angles, and numerous others. A prime example of the film’s use of lighting is during the interviews, it is darkly lit. This is to symbolize that the topic is deep, intense, and dark.
Overall, I believe We Were Children is a great film due to its excellent use of film techniques and conventions. This is a very informative movie for anyone wishing to further their understanding on residential schools.
Wolochatiuk, Tim, dir. We Were Children. Writ. Jason Sherman. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2015. <https://www.nfb.ca/film/we_were_children/trailer/we_were_children_trailer>.