I was amazed to see Czech animation shown on the Mojo HD channel last Wednesday. Pavel Koutský’s Duel highlights the importance of early childhood education –and, for a critical approach to early childhood education. The National Film Board of Canada sums up the film best:
At birth a child is placed on an assembly line that symbolizes the passage of time. Objects representing knowledge – books, magazines and printed materials, videocassettes and compact discs – twirl around him. Suddenly, two hands fasten a funnel on his head. From now on, all the information that reaches him will be sorted, grated or shredded. The child grows up and his thirst for knowledge annoys the censors. They want to make him a model citizen, like the others who come off the assembly line. Outraged, the young man begins an unrelenting duel with the censors. Attacked by an army of cutting tools, he counterattacks by bombarding the enemy with huge quantities of information. The army of scissors beats a retreat. Ecstatic, the young man has won the first battle in his struggle for freedom of expression. But crouching in their corner, the scissors are still a threat… An animated film without words for twelve to seventeen year olds.
I found the film on YouTube (the actual video starts at around 00:51):