Kindergarten Erster Schultag
Daily Life in a Kindergarten in Philippsburg and first day of School.
Alltag in einem Kindergarten in Philippsburg und die Einschulung der Kinder.
Context and analysis
They walk, sand, swing. There is hardly any peace in these film pictures from the St. Francis kindergarten in Philippsburg. The children are constantly on the move, be it slower or faster. And if they just sit or stand it is only a short pause - or the irritation of the presence of a film camera, in which they look lost in thought.
In 1957, the year in which this amateur film was shot, it was once again debated how to orient early childhood education in the public domain. The task of the kindergarten is determined essentially pedagogically, so it is called in an opinion of the committee for the education and training of the same year. Against this increasing emphasis on the learning potential and the talent of the child was the old idea of kindergarten as a mere custodial institution. The ecclesiastical-confessional bearers continued to stick to this contemplative picture. And thus a bourgeois idea of the family, with the public toddler education was reduced to a care institution for families in which the mother was working. In the background was the infant education of Friedrich Froebel, the founder of the kindergarten in the 19th century, who saw the goal of the new facility in the maintenance of the game and in an order of offering games to educate.
The film images from the backyard of the kindergarten seem to illustrate Froebel's assumption of the visual impact of the game. The children start immediately, first standing in the background against a wall, while in front a girl looks in surprise at the camera. From now on, this camera captures the movements of the children, and also introduces them as an ongoing flow of montage, with which the play itself plays. The movement opens onto the backyard space as they run around the sandbox, and it concentrates on the sandbox with the shovel in its hand. A swivel shows the children immersed in the game, and then zoom in until some girls in the close-up look into the camera, dropped out of the game for a few seconds: images that repeatedly curl the film into small portraits to pass again in an ongoing movement.
Everything is equal in this pictorial space, in which the motion phenomena enroll: not only the sandbox in the foreground, which attracts the attention, but also the swing, which rotates fully occupied in the background and moves into the focus in the following. Another kind of movement turns out to be turning, and others follow: the familiar rocking, the back and forth of which appears even more so in front of the yellow surface of a house wall. Previously, a nurse in medal dress had appeared, a supervisor who gives the game free rein and swings to provide more momentum. The attitudes are now condensing into small group pictures - like the two boys holding to the red bars of the swing. There are only brief clues to the film that arise out of movement, and in the end it continues in front of the house in the open, with the children walking side by side in pairs, now in a guided form of movement, next to the sister another accompanying person becomes visible.
Already in 1957, the question arose whether the five-year-old should still be assigned to the kindergarten or the school. This film rather puts the old demarcation in the picture by juxtaposing both - kindergarten and school. Suddenly one sees the new school yearlings of the year 1957 at the door of the Philippsburg Hieronymus Nopp school. In the bright sunlight they are posing with a school bag for the film camera, in the middle of it one of the mothers in costume. The amateur film camera has taken the place of the photo camera for a few minutes: the film approaches the photos from the first day of school with its settings - and at the same time opens them up with pans and random pictures. It is the minutes before the children enter the school, and on the threshold of the new phase of life, they present themselves in front of the film camera: A blonde girl in a group peeks at the camera in close-up - a small cinematic event that stands out from the familiar individual and group portraits. Finally, the restrained movement, which is noticeable again and again between the 'still images', leads to the school door. The amateur camera is in the midst of children and mothers, looking - cinematically - for stops in the flow of movement - until she comes across the 'picture' of a nun, as they had previously been seen in the kindergarten.
Places and monuments
- This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.