THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET
Directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton & Linda Hawkins Costigan
2006 107 min
USA, Kosovo, Bangladesh, South Africa
Children’s education is more than just ABCs and 123s. With today’s global landscape dominated by pressing issues like poverty, human rights, AIDS and ethnic genocide, how can the world’s most-watched children’s television show bridge cultures while remaining socially relevant? THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET explores the dramas, challenges and complexities behind producing international versions of the beloved television program. The film follows productions in Bangladesh, Kosovo and South Africa and examines how producers from New York's Sesame Workshop take the iconic American television show and localize it with indigenous songs, puppets and curricula while facing cultural, political and production challenges.
When it first aired in 1969, Sesame Street was considered groundbreaking. A product of the era’s progressive and civil rights movements, it boasted the first mixed-race cast and first urban setting on a children’s television show. One of the program’s goals was to help level the educational playing field for all pre-school children. Sesame Workshop’s international co productions now illustrate the current political and social environments of their home countries. As fascinating primer on art, media and intercultural dialogue, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET illustrates both the many cultural differences and similarities of producing the children’s television program on a global level.
Official Website: http://films.arusha.org/
Added by Grant Neufeld on January 9, 2007