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The Things I Cannot Change (1967)

4.2 of 5 from 45 ratings
0h 55min Not released
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Classic candid camera study of a large family in a Canadian City. The camera crew lived with the family for about a fortnight just before the birth of their tenth child, while the mother was away, and the film ends with her bringing it back, much admired by all the rest of the family. But they donÕt know where the food will come from when the days supply is finished. The husband has difficulty keeping his job, and the wife is quite worn out with so many children. Supplied with teacher's guide. Review by a teacher at a local school. On the 40th Anniversary of its premiere, "The Things I Cannot Change" retains all of its gripping power and sensitivity.
I believe it was one of many elements of Canadian society that helped to ignite the demand for justice, equality and social change. While the Bailey family had to have their family life revealed raw, the presentation of their story served a greater good. The film was a powerful social document in 1967; 40 years later it retains that purpose, but it also now serves as a historical text. The film portrayed the dignity of the family in the face of constant struggles The mother is soft spoken so much so that her representation of self is cowed and her voice seems not to be heard by the officials, she sees in an attempt to gain help for her family. They offer her very little help, other than limited support for her pregnancy. Her demeanor is an almost constant representation of powerlessness and lack of personal control. They have chosen not to use medical intervention to limit their family size, through either fear of the unknown or ignorance of the medical care available and this may also be a source of the official rejection of help for the family. NB there is a sequel to this film, Courage to Change which was made 20 years later about the same family. This, along with many films on family situations, is also available from Concord Media
Tanya Ballantyne
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
55 minutes

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