From the archive - How cinema can fill our young folk with facts
Although there is still little organised effort in this country o provide films of either educational or general value to children, yet each week a number of productions is included in film programmes at picture theatres throughout the country which may do extremely valuable work in this direction.
At practically every picture theatre, for example, there are shown each day comprehensive selections of pictures of topical events, which are far more likely to impress on the mind of the child the importance of the history that is going on around him than many text books.
The Pathe Gazette and the Gaumont Graphic are changed twice a week, and either one or the other is shown practically everywhere, often with other topical pictorial budgets of news in pictures.
There are also extremely interesting films made by British Instructional Films Ltd. Among recent productions are films dealing with the growth of grasses, potato growing, life in Roman Britain and with the human body under X-ray.
Among longer films, attendance at which is likely to benefit children, even if the benefit is obtained unconsciously, are two adaptations now being show in London - Ben Hur at the Tivoli, and the revival of the Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Polytechnic. In the former there are some crude moments, but the pictures of life in Roman Palestine are admirably carried out, and the scenes of the circus on Antioch are excellent.