Artificial Respiration. This 70s film on how to do artificial respiration is pretty straightforward. Acted scenes of everyday accidents that require artificial respiration are alternated with stock footage of disasters. The acted scenes are a tad bit dorky and very 70s, but they don’t undercut the message of the film and what it is trying to teach, which is an important skill. The film teaches it well, presenting the steps clearly and making it look easy and non-intimidating. Each acted scene ends with an announcement that the victim was lucky the people who were with him or her knew what to do, the best of these being, “It pays to know the right people!”, which somehow doesn’t fit into a first-aid film. Other than that, though, this is pretty standard. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Arrow to the Sun. This 1973 film tells a Pueblo Indian story about the son of their sun god who goes on a search for his real father and endures various trials along the way. The story is primarily told with beautiful animation based upon Pueblo artworks. There is very little dialogue and no narration, just stunning visuals and native music. I didn’t end up with a real firm grasp of the tale in the end, but it hardly matters because the visuals are so stunning. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A (though there is a moment during the final trial that resembles an 80s video game—but that would be a trial, wouldn’t it?). Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Are You a Good Citizen?. Clean teen Jim breaks the window of Mr. Heinemann playing baseball with his buddies in the street. Heinemann uses this as an opportunity to teach Jim good citizenship, since he has been named the town’s First Citizen. He finds out that Jim and his friends need a good place to play baseball, so he helps Jim to organize a bond issue for the town to buy a nearby vacant lot and turn it into a playground. This film is dorky as all get-out, but it’s message of self-empowerment through engagement in the political process is actually a good one, though it makes the process look a lot simpler than it actually is. P. S. Vote Bernie in 2020! Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Are Manners Important?. Grade schooler Mickey doesn’t seem to think so. He barges through his 50s world without a care for anybody but himself and says, “Manners are just for grown-ups!” when his mother confronts him about his rude behavior. But when it seems like the other kids are rejecting him, he gets frustrated and has a fantasy where, as president of the United States, he issues a proclamation banning manners forever. Unfortunately, a big group of kids barge in and bring manners back through mob violence. I guess that’ll teach Mickey a lesson, though the narrator leaves it open for discussion. A fun, campy little EB film with some great moments of bad child acting. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
The Arab Identity: Who Are the Arabs?. This 1975 educational film about Arab life and culture holds up well today. It shows us lots of things non-Arabs would normally never get to see, such as what a pilgrimage to Mecca is like, and isolated areas on the Lebanese/Israeli border populated only by Palestinian gurerrillas. It also shows the huge contrasts of the Arab world and how they create strife and conflicts, and yet how Arabs also have a lot of unity as a people. A very good educational film that gives a good understanding of the Arabs as a people. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Autumn on the Farm . Farm kids Joan and Jerry have fun exploring the farm during the autumn in this 1940s EB film. They pick apples, grapes...
Beginning at Plymouth Colony. From the title, this 50s film sounds like it will be a dry historical film about the settlers at Plymouth Co...