go one better
By EVE McADAM
DOCUMENTARY or drama? Faced with the choice, most viewers would go for the documentary nowadays. But it wasn't always so. While the documentary has improved in technique and is mounted always with intelligence and integrity. showing courage in its choice of subjects (remember Granada's sincere programme on Venereal Disease?), the drama seems to have gone down steadily. Programmes like Armchair Theatre which started with the viewers goodwill have forfeited it with scores of badly-written plays.
Last week the contrast was particularly noticeable: not one play worth writing about (except the Lambda script in the Probation Officer series). But the week's documentary, The Two Faces of Japan," really was something.
Intelligently thought out by writer Cyril Bennett and imaginatively interpreted by director Peter Morley, this programme set a new high in television reporting. It was the best of its kind, so far, from the A-R stable, and most of the credit should go to Bennett.
UNLIKE much that comes over the air, here was a scriptwriter with a point of view and one which he put over with the dexterity of a creative playwright.
By that I mean Bennett was not content to state facts vie his narrator, Tom Harrisson, but conceived ways of dramatising everything he wanted to tell us about Japan. He found a dozen original ways to juxtapose the duality of the Japanese character, the dynamic, affluent western nation and the concept of life based on a feudal past."
We were introdneed to the student Kubota, who found nothing incongruous in worshipping at a Shinto shrine and in studying Marx. Kubota, and others like him, accepted and enjoyed western living standards but found it necessary to protest against them. This they did by the calculated gesture of keeping university dormitories in a filthy condition.
"WORDS lose their meaning. take on art everyday or inadequate meaning. The word 'Saint' is such a word. Because it is an important word we should try to re-discover its precise meaning
'This was the introduction to a talk about "starting to be a saint" on Sunday morning's "Seeing and Believing" (BBC), by the Rev. Charles Davey.
The camera turned from plaster models of St. Christopher and St. Francis of Assisi to framed photographs of the "special Christians", Albert Schweitzer, Gladys Aylward and Trevor Huddleston.
This visual comparison was made by the Rev. Davey to bring home the fact that saints are not, as some are apt to think, people who lived in the past, but are living people. "Sainthood is accepting the love that God has for us," he added. When St. Paul referred to "saints" he was not thinking of outstandingly good or great people but of all Christians in every place.
Catherine Fletcher, principal of of a training college, told viewers that the most important quality necessary in a teacher is "acceptance". "She must accept a child as he is, without any kind of condemnation, without judging him and without being superior towards
"ACCEPTANCE" was essential in his work as a Marriage Guidance Councillor, Mr. Charles King also told us. "When a husband comes to us for help, we don't spot faults or hand out remedies, but we try, first and foremost, to accept him with all his hates and tensions. This provides the neutral atmosphere where he can unburden himself. What we hope to do by this is to establish a means of communication between man and wife, and it can only be done by acceptance of each other."