Film: 1600

Social History | 1940 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

Life in the poor southern states of America,USA 1940's
Poor white people.
Small holding or small farm in the snow with father chopping the wood. He wears a flat leather cap. He surveys his snow covered fields. A long way off person riding horse in snow at foot of field. Man takes logs indoors and places them by stove. Children asleep in bed. Children get dressed and have breakfast in a very poor house with newspaper on the walls - one of which has an article headlined 'Is Your Farming Balanced?'. Woman sweeps the floor clean with a broom - she brushes the dust through the cracks between the floorboards. Woman wearing an apron walks into room and removes one of three children from a big double bed. She sits three-year old boy on her knee and takes his vest off. He cries. Two girls get out of bed and put more clothes on. Boy is sat on chair by mother. Close up of girls legs as they pull on socks or stockings, then shoes. Woman prepares breakfast - probably a maize based food which is patted into rounds before being shallow fried. Children and family bend over breakfast table and eat. Mother holds up saucer for boy to drink from. Children eat their plates clean. Sign in house reads 'We are thankful'. Mother makes small sandwiches? For a packed lunch. Girls walks from house on way to school. As children all get to school they throw snowballs at one another. As children enter class they all deposit their packed lunches on a shelf at the back. In class children of various ages get their school textbooks out for a lesson. Older pupils have books, and younger are given arithmetic cards and they do their sums. Children reading in class. Girls read a book whilst seated side by side. Girl and then a boy read book intently. One boy leans forward, attracts attention of boy in front and speaks to him. Rear view of seated boy. He has a torn shirt. His feet in sockless boots moving beneath desk. Rural school. Girl with grubby legs and plaster on bandage on knee. Reading lesson, book with handwritten notes on goats.
Elderly couple on porch - she in a rocking chair. Man feeds hens bread crumbs.
Appeal for agricultural education for diversifed farming. Dust bowl poverty.


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