The film about Experimental Gym embraces far more than colorful flashbacks to youth hippies in confident expression. Former students of different kinds say that it was only here that they came into contact with what was to become their place in life. Everyone warmly mentions his time at the school, including other band members in Jokke and Valentines, multi-artist Joachim Nielsen and his fellow students, such as Gunnar "Goggen" Andersen and other gangsters in Nielsen's fabulous and satirical cartoon universe.
Equally, it is the presentation of the norms of the time – and the associated opposition to them – that gives the greatest weight to Elsa Kvamme's documentary: Experimental Gym as a viable experiment, which in order to make it have to blast through the wall of conventionalism that characterized this era. Dialedørsskolen Let us meet a Norway in the late sixties, where the adults sit neatly and neatly at the discovered coffee table and exercise close control over what is said and who says it – a streamlined generation that ensures that the education system is similarly tight and tight.
Demo for school
From the left comes youth revolts and thoughts that studying should be something far more than sitting quietly at a nursing school – straight in the back and hands folded on the desk. Kvamme takes us back to a time when the adults' belief that the youth themselves could acquire knowledge practically did not exist. Yes, the age group itself was suspicious.
The adults sit neatly and neatly at the discovered coffee table and exercise close control over what is said and who says it.
The documentary shows this disturbing condemnation and mistrust of the youth of the time. The expectation of high school graduates was limited to the ability to stand on the track, and to repeat and perform when asked. The attitudes that predominated for young people today would almost appear to come from another planet. Then it also took a hefty demonstration train, initiated by the young people themselves, to start this rebel school.
Elsa Kvamme honestly communicates how her high school time at school has characterized her. Using her own experiences as a former student, she not only gives the portrayal a personal touch, but anchors the film in humor as well as depth. The richness of detail and her special observation ability, combined with her life insight, (self) handing out and loving execution of the project, make this tribute to the rebel school both interesting and entertaining. In the film, it is also strongly pointed out that the principal was chosen by the students, and that the teacher forces that flocked to the experiment belonged to the most dedicated and innovative of the stand.
We come close to many knowledge-rich and different-minded souls, who in this generous trial project won both strength and sense of belonging. At the school's most important governing body, the public meetings, it soon became clear that someone was exploiting their ability for verbal dominance. Significant utterance and respectful listening was expected in this community – a grasp of reach far beyond student assemblies. Well-known lawyer and Nobel committee leader Berit Reiss-Andersen is one of several who talks about how the speech exercise characterized her further social and professional engagement. Similar stories of belonging, precisely through the training of raising the voice, arouse emotions. The knowledgeable boy without friends tells of the joy of finally letting go of his own head – he who in his ever-running mill of thought has been isolated until the time at the Experimental Gym began. This scene makes me think of today's unidirectional system – and to want a far greater flexibility in vulnerable young people's educational opportunities.
The experimental gym solved the grade requirement by allowing the students to go up as private exams. The time was not up for this system. A lot of the time was about proving the school's eligibility as an alternative to other high schools. Many of the riots surrounding school along the way have been about the eternal struggle for new school buildings. It all may seem like a sneaky, but successful fatigue tactic on the part of the authorities.
The attitudes of youth that dominated the sixties would appear to young people today as from another planet.
Kvamme sparkles in her ability to capture archaic attitudes and contrast these with the energy and influence of the Experimental Gym, which has not least benefited society. Her review of archived material reveals many things that can be criticized, both by the time spirit and the education system of the time.
The experimental model spread with record speed both at home and abroad, and is still alive and inspiring. In France, the filmmaker meets students who enjoy this Norwegian sixties experiment – which started with three students who all wanted something more.
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Is it also here in domestic areas that the new revolution in education is going to accelerate? Drummer May-Irene Aasen, Jokke and the Valentines bassist, talks about how access to instruments became essential to her further career. They existed at school and could be used by anyone. Then the threshold became low to try, in a place you already were.
The knowledgeable without friends tells about the joy of finally letting go of their own head.
Shouldn't society continue to exchange the good experiences from the Experimental Gym experiment? By drawing inspiration from the "rebel school", one could equip the growing youth to cope with the problems they will certainly face in the future: a climate management gymnasium, a secondary school for conflict, a special school for surveillance knowledge. Time to organize new protest trains before time is overpowering for more rebel school!
The film premieres on NRK1 on Tuesday, October 23 at 21.20:XNUMX pm,
and is then available in NRK's web player.