Robyn's Secret Passage
Death Farm Film
I lived on a farm. I didn't like it and craved concrete not grass under my feet, but that's another story. This story is about the farm safety film I watched at school once.
Matangi was only about ten minutes drive from Hamilton. It was more like a rural suburb of Hamilton than actual proper country living. Most of the people who lived there had what are called lifestyle properties. Ten acres, some cows some sheep and pony. I think there was only one actual dairy farm in the area. Most people who lived in Matangi had office jobs in Hamilton.
So one day at school - I think I would have been about six years old - my class was ushered into the library, the black curtains drawn and the projector was started up to show us a film about farm safety.
The basic plot was that a bunch of American kids all go to someone's farm in America for a party and they all end up dead. It sounds like a horror film, right ("Death Farm," perhaps)? It pretty much was a horror film, designed to scare its audience into observing farm safety.
I'm a bit hazy on exactly what happened in the film, but I can remember the following incidents:
Of course it's all pretty crazy. I mean what kind of irresponsible parent lets their young child invite a bunch of friends over to their farm, leaves them totally unsupervised resulting in a series of deaths?
What's even crazier is that my six and seven year old classmates and I were shown this film. I'm pretty sure that if something like this were to be shown in a cinema it would have a rating that would not allow kids that young to see it.
But the best part is that there wasn't much in the film that was relevant to us. We lived in a rural area, but we were living like suburban kids. Watching TV or playing with Barbie dolls was a more likely after school activity than swallowing weedkiller. The film was really for kids who live on really big farms, whose parents would be farmers, not, say, accountants or managers.
I'm sure my teacher thought she was doing something really good by showing the death farm film, but it was really spectacularly irrelevant. I still do this day do not know anyone with a giant pit of cow poo.