Bailie, a Bay Area veteran who founded Canyon Cinema in 1960, simply filmed some developmentally challenged kids at a special school called the East Bay Developmental Center. The content-driven film isn’t particularly experimental; we simply watch the faces of the children and think about their personalities.
Bruce Baillie (born in 1931, Aberdeen, South Dakota) is an American experimental filmmaker and founding member of Canyon Cinema in San Francisco. His film Castro Street (1966) was selected in 1992 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. —Wikipedia
short, atmospheric glimpse at a school in oakland for children with mental health issues. baillie's camera is direct but never exploitative. about 7 minutes of the 10 minute total running time consist of normal kid stuff, more or less. as it probably should be. this would make a nice double feature with farrokhzad's "the house is black."
One of the most beautiful, honest, and poetic look of children the cinema has offered. Childhood expressed perfectly in ten minutes. It's surprising how well Baillie manages the material to the point that the children's disabilities have no purpose in the film; the children are represented just as normal as any other child, and their experience can represent the childhood experience for all children.