Film Review – Testament of Youth

When Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander) received a new piano as a gift, she was unimpressed. Very unimpressed.

Her father had just spent a large sum of money on the baby grand piano, when she was wanting him to save that money for her to go to Oxford. Now she would be left to go to some other subpar educational institution.

Oh, that one of my own students shared similar sentiment. The kids I teach would neither long for the piano nor an Oxbridge education. Instead a child told me on Tuesday that they were hoping to convince their parents to purchase a £500 self-balancing scooter. This same child was probably receiving free school meals from the government.

No, I do not teach children such as Vera Brittain. But then I suppose children like Vera are just constructed by Hollywood film studios to trick us into thinking kids care about their education.

Sorry, I have just remembered Vera Brittain was a real person.

Oh, that I could teach in the bygone era when teenagers refused to accept gifts of musical instruments in preference for their education.

But then again, there’d be all the going to war; getting engaged to Jon Snow – sorry Roland Leighton (Kit Harrington); delaying degrees to become a nurse; and general anguish.

No, I feel that I am lucky to have been born in era where we have the peace that pacifists like Vera Brittain fought for.

The peace to watch this masterful depiction of her life and hardships, set against the romantic backdrops and poetic flow.

The peace to reflect upon the strength and tenacity of her character both in reality and on screen in this film.

And the peace to spend time finding the best deal on Amazon for a self-balancing scooter.

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A former human kid who became an adult and then a teacher vents his frustrations coping with the disciplining and educating of the modern child.

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