A Day of Thanksgiving (extra on Blood Freak DVD (Something Weird, 2002). Also, film #3 on The Educational Archives, Vol. 5: Patriotism DVD (Fantoma, 2003). Also, film #8 on Lifestyles USA, Vol. 2 (Something Weird, 2000). Also in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #407 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Educational]

A working class family has trouble making ends meet, and so the parents have to break the news to the kids that there will be no turkey for Thanksgiving this year. When the kids act like this is the End of the World, Dad changes their mind by having everybody in the family make a list of what they are thankful for. Mostly they are thankful for living in the good ol' U.S. of A., even if they are poor. This film would be laughable, except it's a Centron production, and the gritty Kansas feel gives it a certain poignancy. The kids' lists of what they are thankful for sound like genuine school compositions on the subject. And little Tommy has such a delightful Kansas twang, especially when he asserts, "We could make a list a mile long!" Some of the scenes are jarring, as when Mom says she is thankful for modern technology while we see her struggle to operate a wringer washing machine, or when she casually includes "a bill collector" into the list of nice people who might be at the door. These people are so sincere, and trying so hard to be brave, that you can't make fun of them. And that gives the message of this film a certain degree of believability, whereas it probably would have been so much hokey shmaltz in the hands of another production company.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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