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Children Full of Life, a moving documentary about kids sharing emotions in school

July 24, 2009

My friend Alyssa sent me a link to a 2003 documentary called Children Full of Life, now viewable in its entirety on YouTube (also embedded in this post). The film features a very unique 4th grade class in Kanazawa, where the teacher encourages students to keep journals, read them out loud in class, and then share deep, ordinarily inaccessible emotions with the rest of the students. For example, in the first section, they talk about death. Most teachers would shy away from talking about such subjects in class &mdash they might deem it inappropriate, or opt to spend the time doing other stuff, or maybe it’s just not customary to talk openly about such deep emotions in school. I certainly don’t know that many classrooms, even in the US, where this is actively encouraged. But this teacher, one Mr. Kanamori, tells the children that their primary goal is to be happy, and that sharing feelings is part of the path to happiness.