Lessons From A Calf (Koreeda, 1991)

This evening during dinner I watched the short documentary Lessons From A Calf. I am working my way though the entire output of Hirokazu Koreeda and now I'm on his documentaries. This was one of his first projects. It follows a Japanese elementary school class in a school with an alternative curriculum as they raise a calf over a few years. Though the film is very loose and patched together, it's mostly shot at the level of the kids' experience, which becomes crocodile-tears-emotional at the end when they have to give the (now grown) cow back to the farm that loaned it. I dare you not to cry with them! Also it was fascinating to watch the way kids learned and motivated themselves, and the way they expressed their opinions (and feelings) in the classroom.

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