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April 05, 2006

Film Review: Children of the Revolution

Dzieci Rewolucji [Children of Revolution]. Screenplay by Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz and Leszek Koczanowicz. Dir. Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz. 60 minutes. Telewisja Polska [TVP], 2002.

That's revolution, not "corn."

The next in our series of Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz documentaries examines the after-effects of revolution, particularly the people themselves. While Generation '89 used this "then and now" model for the details of one event in Polish history, this films looks at a much broader spectrum. This time, Zmarz-Koczanowicz looks at many different revolutions from many different dates in several European nations . . .

. . . If you've seen this documentary, or, at least enough of it to get a good idea of what's it's about, please remark on one or two of the following questions:

1. What is the overall "theme" of this film? Explain.
2. Who are the childeren of the revolution? Discuss.
3. What is the filmmaker's argument or thesis of this film?
4. Is this film set in only one geographical location? Where?
5. What seemed to be the general/common thread of complaints of the people in all the revolutions?
6. What can the results/consequences be of publically standing up for what you believe in?
7. How strong are your personal beliefs and how far would you go to defend them? Jail? The grave?
8. In these countries, where did religious institutions ally themselves with regards to issues like the war and revolution? How do you think the religious majority might be allied here in regards to similar issues?
9. Process: What techniques did the filmmaker use to transition between time periods, i.e. past and present?

Kindly leave your comments in the field below.



*Read more English-Blog Film Reviews HERE!

Posted by lhobbs at April 5, 2006 10:14 PM

Readers' Comments:

The film Children of the Revolution was placed in a time era from the early 1950's to the early 1990's. The location of this film bounced around quite a lot from Germany to Poland and they also talked about Russia. The title of this film got its name from all of the people born during this revolution, hence The Children of the Revolution. The thesis of this film was that many people stood up for what they believed in. But along with the things that the stood up for during this revolution their were consequences that came with it. Some people were thrown in jail for standing up for what they believed in and some were shot and killed. I have strong beliefs about some issues that are apparent today. Although I do not know if I would actually die for them. I guess it all depends on the situation and how many people actually believed in them as strongly as I do. But I would go to jail for them. If someone took something special away from em then I would stand up for them and if I went to jail for how I feel then I really do not think that is a big deal or that it is wrong to go to jail if someone stands up for something. It shows character and that you are a real person with real feelings.

Posted by: Liz L. at April 6, 2006 12:32 AM

Professor Hobbs,

The film Children of the Revolution was the story of the people who grew up during the various uprisings of the 1950’s through the late 1980’s or early 1990’s in Poland, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia. The person making the film is trying to show that revolution can devour the people involved, or the “children” of the revolutions. These people were imprisoned, shot, and even killed for standing up for what they believed in during this time. Most people have to be pushed pretty far and believe in something very strongly to be willing to risk imprisonment and death for it. Looking at the sacrifices that some people made proves their bravery. Several of the people involved gave up their chance at education and jobs. The revolution was their number one priority. It takes extreme dedication and belief in something to go that far. Personally, there is nothing in my life that I am that severely upset about, however, if some harsh changes were made to my life, I do believe that I would give up everything to fight for justice. I think that is the case for most people. If they are pushed far enough, they will fight for what is important to them, no matter what the consequences and cost may be.

Kelsey L.

Posted by: Kelsey L. at April 6, 2006 01:27 AM

Professor Hobbs,

The movie Student of the Revolution is a movie talking about how the revolution devoured the children. The Berlin Wall was put up to separate East Berlin and West Berlin. The city was circled in wire. During this time when the Berlin Wall was put up fifty six people were hung, imprisoned, and the rest of the people during this time were scared to death. In 1960 everything was different there were more meat and also more freedom. In 1968 it was the turning point. Russian tanks entered the community. In 1969 there were demonstrations against the tanks entering. At this time illegal organizations were set up underground in East Berlin. Also in 1968 Dubuk was supported, socialism was improving, but still in this time women were treated badly. In December 1970 communist shipyard workers went on strike but at this time most of the society didn’t care that they went on strike or didn’t care what was going on at that time. The society at this time did not want to talk about what was going on in there own back yard. The Red’s had the cars and the extra cash, and also at this time the students at the university was looking for contracts. In the 70’s people could travel freely also, at this time Poland printed undercover paper. KOR organization came around. In 1970 the workers rose and they were oppressed by the Red’s. Workers who were looking for jobs were thrown in the shipyards by the hundreds. With the underground papers that were being published they secretly made petitions, this is because the Hungarians opposed the movement. Letter of protest was signed by 200 Hungarians. They were complaining about the government not listening there problems and there requests.
The children of the revolution were the individuals of the time period that saw the Berlin Wall go up with there own two eyes. They saw there freedom disappearing right in front of there eyes. Berlin was split into two separate places Individuals from East Berlin were not allowed to go to West Berlin and vise versa. The Berlin Wall caused a lot of controversy for the children of the revolution.

The place that this movie took place in was not only in one particular spot. The movie was taking from Germany, Eastern and communist Europe and every country around them. The Berlin Wall didn’t just affect one place it affected everyone. It hurt Berlin most of all but there were changes that were since in areas all around Berlin.

The time period that this event took place was from the 1950 to early 1990’s. The event took many years to finally come to an end. Many people stood up for what they believed and many people lost there life because they stood up for what they believed in. What they did ended up helping out the generations ahead of them. They were not worrying about themselves what the outcome for them would be they were thinking of the years to come and there children. These are a few things that took place in the movie.

Jennifer G

Posted by: Jennifer G. at April 6, 2006 03:06 PM

Professor Hobbs,

The film Children of the Revolution examines the lives of people who took part in one of the many revolutions that occurred in their respective countries. It shows how revolution both helps and hurts both the people and the country. It also shows what can happen when a person supports their beliefs no matter the consequences. The film effectively flashes to the past and then back to the future using black and white shots to transition between the past and the present. Many different generations are represented, ranging from the late fifties to the late eighties. Many people that participated in these revolutions had to face the consequences of standing up for their beliefs. People were arrested for striking during work, protesting, as well as many other reasons. Some were even shot and killed for what they believe. Although the people knew what they could face, they were not willing to give in to fear and stop fighting for what they believed in.

Ali L.

Posted by: Ali L. at April 6, 2006 11:57 PM

Professor Hobbs,

The film we watched in class was based on the process of living through the Berlin wall. This process took place in eastern Europe from the 1950’s to the early 90’s. Many of the people that fought to have the Berlin wall removed fought for a cause that led them down a deep road of trouble. The “children of the revolution” fought hard for their rights, which led some of them into jail or shot and killed. In the film, to transition between the past and present viewers could tell through the use of black and white photos from the past to color for the present times.

Kelly J

Posted by: Kelly J. at April 7, 2006 12:05 AM

Instrucor Hobbs,

The overall theme of this film was about children of different revolutions in their times. Children of the revolution are basically any person that went through a revolution and stood up for what they believed in. These people were willing to go to the fullest extent with the law and sometimes even their lives to fight for what they believed in. The filmaker's thesis is that these people fight and made a difference in their time as children. They were the people that made it better for everyone. This film took place in Eastern Europe in the 50s to the 90s.

The common thread between all of the people interviewed in the film is how they all have strong feelings towards their beliefs. When it comes to my own personal beliefs I cannot really say if how strong I am because none have ever been tested. I would like to think if I ever was tested that I would stand up and do something.

Some of the transitions in this film were shown through the different songs of the people in the revolution about war and what was going on at that time. Another transition was the flashbacks of the people being interviewed while they were rallying or protesting in different revolutions. The last transition I picked up on was the black and white pictures and video that would flash to modern day color to show the process of what the city or area of the country went through during the revolutions.

Thoryn S.

Posted by: Thoryn S. at April 7, 2006 12:44 AM

Dear Professor Hobbs,

Children of the Revolution is a film about the revolutions in Russia, Germany, Hungary, and Poland. The theme I got from the film was that revolution has both good and bad consiquences and will effect everyone, young and old. I think the "children" are anyone who grew up with the old government and lived to see it fall and be replaced by a new one. The "children" pushed for a change and got to see it happen.

Its hard to say how far I would go for my beliefs because I have never been in a situation where I had to drasticly defend them. Im sure if the situation came up, I would make the correct decision.


Posted by: Brendan at April 7, 2006 12:30 PM

Professor Hobbs,

The documentary Children of the Revolution took place in Communist Europe throughout a widespread time period, the 1950s to the early 1990s. The film is entitled the Children of the Revolution because the people interviewed were born into the beginning or middle of the Revolution. The argument that is taking place during the film describes how the revolution devours people and it can either help them or hurt them. Although I feel that my beliefs about certain topic are very strong, I cannot say whether or not I would risk my life or even jail time to be involved in a Revolution. I do not think that people that are not currently in the position to decided can really say if they would or would not be involved.

Angela H.

Posted by: Angela H. at April 7, 2006 01:01 PM


The theme of this film is revolutions in Europe and the way it devours people, primarily children. This of course ties in directly with the title of the film which is Children of the Revolution. The filmmaker’s argument in this film is that children of revolutions are eaten up by it and their entire lives change as a result. No longer are they innocent to their country’s dilemmas, instead they are in constantly reminded of it by seen tanks and police in the streets, having curfews and also restrictions in food (meat) rations.

If I were to have a chance to fight for something I truly believed in and something I knew would be to the benefit of a large number of people, then I am sure I would risk going to jail for such a cause. Risking my life on the other hand seems very horrible. The cause would have to probably be something that meant a lot to me and also was so important that my life would be horribly affected by it if I didn’t fight for it.

Emily S.

Posted by: Emily S. at April 7, 2006 01:36 PM

7 April 2006

Professor Hobbs,

The film “Children of the Revolution” was not about one specific period or place, but about many different places and revolutions. It talked about the effects of a revolution on the lives of the people who were involved with it. The children of the revolution where all the people who went through a revolution and who’s life was changed or effected by it. Some of these people could include the youth who’s up bringing ran parallel with the revolution and older generations who had to go through with it. Some had their lives effected physically through injuries from standing up for what the believed in. Some had metal repercussions where they missed the glory days of the revolution. They wanted to go back to a time where their lives were more meaningful instead of living out their life in a way they “enjoy.”

I found this the most interesting concept in all of the movies we watched so far in class. Why is it that for many people life after the revolution wasn’t all it was hyped up to be? Is it simply because we get a natural high when we go against the system and try to stand up for something then when we actually win that high is not there anymore? This concept can be applied to something even smaller like when someone cheats on a test, dose 120 on the highway, or drinks underage. All of these things give that person a sense of rebellion. It’s something humans naturally like and once it’s over they long for more. You can see it in the youthful generation every new one that comes up looks for something new to set them apart from the old. They need something that’s rebellious, that’s why old clothes go out of style. After a person is done with the adrenaline rush of going 120 down the highway they feel like life is boring for those few seconds afterwards. I can only imagine what it’s like to go through a revolution where it’s a constant rebellion and try to live a calm meaningful life afterwards.

What is it then that revolutionists are really playing the game for? At the beginning it’s definitely the goal or the issue that’s the problem. A country wants change and they are going to find a way to bring it on. Once the revolution is on its way it becomes bigger and bigger until everyone is in it. What then dose it become? There is all of this thrill involved. Everyone is excited and ready for combat. Rise up against the man. Is the goal in the beginning really what’s driving everyone now or are they just conforming to a medium that will allow them to unleash their rebellious spirit? It’s a question that has been on my mind for quite some time now. After hearing everyone’s thoughts in the film I’d have to say that it’s possible. Are we all rebels without a cause? Or just rebels looking for one?

Sam H.

Posted by: Sam H. at April 7, 2006 02:08 PM

Hello Professor Hobbs,

The film "Children of the Revolution" spotlighted those who grew up during many of the revolutions throughout Communist Europe between the 1950s and the 1990s. In the opening scenes, a man quotes that "revolution devours its children", yet he believes that revolution "devours itself". The Children of the Revolution are, as stated before, those who grew up during these revolution time periods.

The main thesis of this film is that revolutions affect everyone. Revolution, again, devours its children. It can either help or hurt them. The main thing affecting everyone during this time was the Berlin Wall.

Many of the consequences with such young revolters included jail time and even death. I believe that if something is very important to oneself, then fighting for it until the outcome of jail or even death is no object. Rome was not built in a day, it took much time, energy, and work to achieve its grandure. Much like a building process, achieving the rights of many takes time, energy, and the drive to know that changes must be made in order to get what everyone deserves.

Missy Z

Posted by: Missy Z at April 9, 2006 04:10 PM

Dear Prof. Hobbs,

Children of the Revolution, Generation 89 and the other films that we have seen have reflected a sense of strength and unity in numbers. The togetherness that the people in the Children of the Revolution and Generation 89 demonstrated showed great character, strength and determination. Unfortunatly, because they rose up against the establishment many were jailed, beaten and killed. These were "consequences" that revolutionaries had to endure because of their assertion of beliefs and protest.

I would certainly fight for something that I was passionate was the "right" thing. I believe that if you find something as a truth, then things such as jail shouldn't be a topic of discouragement. I don't desire to go to jail, but if the need calls for it than I must do what I have to do. It's a form of death/martyrdom that I believe revolutionaries accept but don't want. There isn't much fighting that can be done on the inside of the confined walls of a jail cell.

Posted by: Holden B. Jones at May 7, 2006 05:42 PM

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