Sunday, August 30, 2009

Give Up Yer Aul Sins

As usual, I discover this long after everyone else has:

There's a series of these little shorts, which were nominated for an Oscar. Audio recordings were made back in the 1960s of a classroom of Irish schoolchildren recounting favourite Bible stories. Then recently, animated drawings were created to illustrate the stories, and the resulting film was produced by Brown Bag Films.

They make up a series of children's-eye view of Bible and saints' stories, including

The birth of Jesus
The death of Jesus
The birth of John the Baptist
The raising of Lazarus
Jesus healing a blind man
The story of Saint Patrick

They are so naive and charming, with such real belief in the stories. And you can tell they're not just repeating the formula they were told by their teachers - each child puts special emphasis on the details that struck her strongly. The little girl telling the story about John the Baptist gets distracted describing all the possible rewards Salome could have asked for, all the lovely jewellery (because kings are rich and have loads of gold)! And when it comes to the birth of Jesus, the little girl is all caught up in the pathos of the killing of the Holy Innocents, even imagining how shocked the soldiers must have been to get an order like that from Herod: "Even though they were bad, they always wanted to hit their match; they didn't want to hit little babies that wasn't their match." Of course, this cuts no ice with Herod: "And he said yer not to be makin' faces, youse are gettin' well paid."


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