Centre for Creative Media Research > Video Critical

Royal Park Primary School:
Photographs and description of the video

The edited video (8 minutes 4 seconds):

Titles: the camera pulls back from a tower block to show a wider view of inner Leeds, with its packed-in terraced houses and a poorly maintained field, as seen from a school window.

We cut to Ryan, with the school behind him, as he shows us the state of the field he is in. Benches have been burnt and people have been making fires. 'The Council should have made this into a park,' Ryan asserts. Asif shows us in more detail, noting, 'Before three years this place used to be really nice. These used to be benches'. 'If the council didn't want all this,' says Amaz, indicating the mess, 'they should have made it into a park'. Ryan shows us a substantial pile of dumped rubbish. 'A few months ago people were complaining that they found syringes. My little nephew got scratched by one'.

Maryam argues that if only the Council would maintain the park properly, it would be a very good resource for the school and children living locally. Tabrez and Fozia then shows us some houses typical of the area.

We cut to Omar, seated in school, who is asked by Amaz from off-camera, 'What place do you not like, any why?'. Omar: 'I do not like... the field, because it is dirty.' Amaz: 'Why's it dirty?'. Omar: 'Because there's been a lot of litter there'.

Fozia (being interviewed): 'Hyde Park's more interesting to play there, and the field isn't, because it's messy'. We see Farzana and Shazia at the start of the path into Hyde Park, from their school. 'This is Hyde Park!' they announce happily.

We cut to Maryam (being interviewed): 'Because in Hyde Park the area's so greenery and so much trees'. Amaz and Omar (at the park entrance) show us where the school is in relation to the park.

Interviewing in school, Maryam (off-camera) asks Yasir, 'Which places do you like best?'. Yasir: 'I like Hyde Park best. I like to play, everywhere in the park'. Maryam: 'Why do you like it?'. Yasir: 'Because there are all things there. And friends, to play with'.

Ryan shows us the Hyde Park allotments: 'People around this area grow their vegetables in here'. In school, Amaz asks Omar, 'Did you enjoy going places?' 'Yes, especially the park'. 'Why?'. 'Because it's nice, and if you go to some places it's quiet'.

Yasir, and then Fozia, point to the university, and some students, and note that many students live in the area. Maryam shows us the many paths in the park, and then the statue; 'It's built in 1852'. We are also shown the nearby church, and dentist's.

We approach the play area, as Fozia tells us, 'This is a nice place for the children to play. It has not got a lot of litter on it'. Farzana is asked, 'What did you like about Hyde Park?'. Her reply: 'Playing on the swings!'. In the park, Amaz kicks a crisp bag with a cry of 'Football!', and we launch into a musical sequence where the children 'demonstrate' the recreational uses of the equipment to the full, playing on the slide, swings and climbing frames. As the music dies, we find the ten children gathered at the foot of the statue. 'We all like Hyde Park,' they shout, then jump off, caught in a freeze-frame as we go into the end titles, which show us their names accompanied by a shot of each child.

The text and images on this site are by David Gauntlett, © 1997, 2004.
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