American in Spain

Children - Full of Life

May 31, 2011

Children - Full of LifeA couple days ago, Sam Harris tweeted about a Japanese documentary called Children - Full of Life. Harris pondered, "Was this our Sputnik moment for empathy education?" He was referring, of course, to Obama's most recent State of the Union address championing federal investment in R&D. Indeed the teaching of moral and ethical values by the fourth grade teacher, Toshiro Kanamori, in the film is extraordinary. My first reaction to the film was "Whoa! Where do I sign my kid up for this guy?" and my second reaction was to resolve to do my very best to instill such values in my children, perhaps even copying some of the techniques Kanamori uses in the film. What a beautiful little movie. What a wonderful man. If you are prone to shed a tear at poignant movies, you might want to have a box of tissues ready for pretty much each of the five episodes. It really is worth 40 minutes of your time.

From Norboru Kaetsu, the producer:

Many people gave us praise for this program, but one of the students said, “I found the program interesting, but it is still light. Our year is much heavier than that."