Reviewed by: Scott Bryce
|Producer:||Feature Films for Families|
While rummaging through a chest in the attic, Iris’ daughter comes across an old crayon drawing that tells the story of the summer when Iris was 11 years old. Iris, who prefers her nickname, Ira, was in her last year of “freedom” before she had to join her three older sisters, hoeing weeds in the beet fields on the family farm. When migrant farm workers from Mexico arrive on the farm to help out for the summer, Ira is befriended by Oscar, one of the Mexican boys. Ira invites Oscar to join her on her tom-boyish adventures, and learns a lesson about friendship and prejudice.
Well scripted and directed, “Friendship’s Field” has strong performances by practically every member of the cast. Ira’s part is played particularly well by an actress who is obviously more mature than the character she is portraying. The characters and story are very believable. Ira’s family and the two Mexican families who work beside them in the fields are truly likeable, which adds to the impact of the story. The music is enjoyable and works well to enhance the story. The few minor technical glitches are easily overlooked. This is a tug-at-your heart story that has quickly become a family favorite.
Like any excellent story, “Friendship’s Field” has a lot depth and subtleties. My wife and I wanted our children to fully understand the video, so before they watched it, we explained to them a few things that they might not already understand. We told them about migrant farm workers, a little about Mexican culture, prejudice, and a few other themes that are a part of the story. Afterward we discussed the video and its message. The story is deep enough, that we could discuss it much like a classic novel in a high school literature class.
“Friendship’s Field” is highly recommended. It will be enjoyed by the entire family.
Younger children may be scared by a discreetly portrayed act of violence.