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Yvonne Teh, Film Editor

 

This year's International Children's Film Carnival begins on Friday, July 5 and runs until Sunday, August 11.

In the past, I have generally avoided these screenings - organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department - because I have not had the best experiences when viewing films with children in the cinema.

On one occasion, a child kept kicking the seats in front until his mother slapped him, which made him cry. Another time, a mother insisted on reading the English subtitles out loud to her child at a screening of Seraphine, Martin Provost's multiple César award-winning drama based on the life of French naive artist Seraphine Louis (aka Seraphine de Senlis). Although it was well intentioned, it disrupted the film for others.

One reason why those experiences were so irritating was because the works being screened weren't really suitable for children.

In contrast, at a recent screening of Ernest & Celestine - the sublime French animated film about a friendship between a music-loving bear and an artistic mouse - the reactions of the children present, especially the sound of their giggles, but also their gasps of wonder, added to the overall experience.

And I imagine that this would be the case with many of the screenings at the International Children's Film Carnival.

So maybe I'll take a chance and go check out one or more of its offerings this time around.

 

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