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Goodnight Mr Tom film in class? Anyone seen it?

15 replies

pinkmama · 21/11/2006 20:17

DD1 (8) came home tonight saying she had cried in class. They had watched "Goodnight Mr Tom" as part of their learning about WW2. However, she says that she was upset as there is a scene when the mum goes mad, locks daughter and baby in cellar and then goes and drowns herself. Children left in cellar for a month and invevitably baby dies. She is quite disturbed by it. Now, I haven't seen the film. Not sure how in context her memory is. However looking up on internet it is a PG, not a U. Has anyone seen it and can they comment on whether it is appropriate for the emotional capacity of 8/9 year olds. DD1 is quite mature for her age. Not sure if this has helped or not. Any feedback would be welcome

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JanH · 21/11/2006 20:23

The book is used frequently in KS2 but probably more for Y5-6; the film underplayed a lot of the awful stuff in the book, but it was originally shown as an evening (ie adult) drama. So I would think it was inappropriate for that age too, pm.

It is upsetting and I wonder if the person who decided to show it had watched it through. Sorry your DD was upset

pinkmama · 21/11/2006 20:24

Thanks Jan. If she wets the bed tonight (which she frequently does when stressed) I am taking the sheets in for her teacher to wash!

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madrose · 21/11/2006 20:26

I cry everytime I see it. It does tug at the heart strings. A lot of the scenes/situations are implied. ie they find boy and baby in cupboard, they don't see them being placed in there. told that mum drown herself but explained why.

It is a 'nice' film no violence etc, but it will encourage children to think about the situations that the young boy found himself in and the kind of things that some children found themselves in when evaculated.

I once showed to a class of 12 year olds, but with the maturity of 6/7 years (SEN) and they enjoyed it, it gave us lots to talk about - WW2, behaviour of people, what life would have been like etc.

hope that helps.

hoxtonchick · 21/11/2006 20:28

i would have been upset if i were your dd pinkmama. and in your position too.

pinkmama · 21/11/2006 20:31

I just feel a bit uncomfortable that its a PG and yet we weren't consulted. ALthough tbh doubt I would have objected. Maybe its mores upsetting because of my 'madness' with PND, which we did talk to DD1 about. Dont want to sound like neurotic mother. I'm not one to go stomping into school about stuff. Interesting to see if any of the other kids were bothered by it.

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LadyOfThePoinsettias · 21/11/2006 20:32

we watched goodnight mr tom in secondary school! we read the book in juniors but didnt see the film then.

(i started secondary in 1993. it must have changed a lot since then)

RTKangaMummy · 21/11/2006 20:37

Sorry DD was upset

DS has seen it several times and has read the book but he is 11 years

I can't remember how old he was the first time he saw it

It is actually shown in the afternoon on TV

I know that cos DS never watches progs past 9pm {watershed}

iirc the mum leaves the boy and baby in the cupboard but we don't see her die or the mum die

The mum sort of shouts at the boy but you don't see her hit him iirc

It is a sad film when the boy's friend dies {which again you don't see} but it is a happy film cos the boy is cared for in a happy home

I don't remember that it says how long the boy and baby are left in the cupboard

We think it is a lovely film - war is horrible and

wetweekend · 21/11/2006 20:37

I have shown it to a Y5 class having read the book to them and at the end of studying WW2. The film is sad and always makes me cry. It does have a happy ending though (well, in a bittersweet way)...

I try make sure that the kids are ready to watch that type of thing and that we have discussed the issues raised before and after they see it. Your daughter is right, the boy & his baby sister do get locked in the cellar, but I don't think it is for a month. The mother does die but I don't remember it being portrayed in any way other than she disappeared, the baby was taken away and the boy goes to live with Mr. Tom.

I would never show it to a class without knowing the kids really well and never without talking through the issues raised. It's a bit late now that your dd has seen it, but it might be worth telling the teacher how upset she was. You might want to check the school's video watching policy -some schools will only show U-rated films. HTH

JanH · 21/11/2006 20:38

IIRC there is a scene where the boy (forget his name) is found, by Mr Tom and an ARP warden or somebody similar, clutching the bundle of rags which was his sister in the darkness of his mother's flat in London - nothing awful is shown but you are aware that there was a baby and that the boy had tried to look after her but that she has died.

Probably not worth making a fuss now but maybe have a word about your DD's reaction the next time you are in school anyway?

pinkmama · 21/11/2006 20:41

I might just mention it to teacher next time I see him but not in a confrontation way. he is a new teacher. Dont want to put him off. He is lovely in every other way. Thanks for feedback. x

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MerlinsBeard · 21/11/2006 20:41

i haven;t read all th thread but it seems to be on around the 6/7 o clock mark when its on the tv. I don't recall ever seeing the mother drown herself although there is a lot of insinuation as to what happened to her. Wiily Beech is found in a cupboard under teh stairs with a dead baby though

(goes to read thread)

jampots · 21/11/2006 20:48

ds came home with a letter today from school asking for permission to watch this film - he;s in yr5 though

pinkmama · 21/11/2006 20:52

Have to admit dd1 did cry last night and say to me, I dont know what is wrong with me at the moment, I cry so easily, so maybe those hormones are just raging. Bloody hormones!

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2sprogsmum · 21/11/2006 20:53

Oh my god, I love this film, but howl and sob when the bit comes with the boy and his baby sister. I actually find it very disturbing, but, I'm a big wimp!

busybusymum · 28/11/2006 21:24

my kids watched it with us last year. I cry at the abuse and when the little baby dies and my DH (not a sensitive man) bawls at the end with he little boy calls Mr Tom "Dad"

Its a lot for an 8 yo to take in. I definately think parents should have been told it was going to be shown.

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