Thursday, December 10, 2009

Multimedia & Fiction

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Author: C.S. Lewis
Director: Andrew Adamson
Movie released in 2005

Topics- Evacuee life, Fantasy portrayal of evacuees

Stories such as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are framed around the story of British children evacuated in World War II, often incorporate themes of bravery and triumph over an evil, dark force. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the Pevensie children are evacuated to the countryside away from their parents and feel isolated, look inward towards their siblings for comfort. They create a fantasy world where their presence is integral to the survival of the people and land, portraying their desire to help England in their time of need. This movie is an illustrative example of child evacuees mindsets and experiences.

Orphans of The Storm
Producers: Gill Barnes and Rex Cowan
VHS released in 1989

Topics- International Evacuation, International Government planning, Primary sources- Interviews, Cultural impact

Orphans of The Storm
is a portrait of America in 1940 through the eyes of the British children who came and the American families who made room for them. The film explores the remarkable collective experience that changed lives and attitudes on both sides of the Atlantic. It details the governmental struggles with logistics, housing, and immigration laws in both America and Britain. This source has both footage from the past and modern day, and includes interviews from former evacuees, host families, and government officials.

People's Century: Total War 1939-1947
Director: John Bridcut
Released in 2006
Television series episode- Documentary

Topics- Differences in evacuees' lives vs. non-evacuees

This is one part of a television series created in collaboration with the BBC that chronicles what happened to the children that were not evacuated from England during World War II. Many went to work in factories only to become targets for attacks by the enemy. People’s Century: Total War 1939-1947, utilizes archival footage to illuminate events in the children’s lives during the War. This source can be used to show the juxtaposition of experiences during WWII between children who were evacuated and those who were not.

Back Home
By: Michelle Magorian
Published in 1984

Topics- Impact of evacuations in post-war England, International evacuation experience, Social/cultural impact of evacuations

This fictional book portrays an evacuee who has spent five years growing up in America and now must return to England at the end of the war. She struggles to re-adjust to life in England with a family and country she has very little memory and fondness for. This shows the grittiness of the cultural and social issues that plagued many of the evacuated children and families that no one foresaw. It also looks at the changing population and mentality of the English post-war, and how England was irrevocably altered by the evacuations and war.

The Sky is Falling
By: Kit Pearson
Published in 1995

Topics- International evacuation experience, Culture shock

In the summer of 1940, two English children, ten year old Norah Sykes and her five year old brother Gavin are sent to live with a family in Canada to escape the danger of the World War II. Living as “guests of war,” Norah and Gavin face culture shock and homesickness as they try to become accustomed to their new Canadian life. This is a good source to show the stages and differences in the cultural adjustment between age groups.

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