Scenes from Childhood
78 minutes/ 1980/ 16mm film

Climbing structure

"What do whales eat? Can a person feel 'comfortable' and 'hurt' at the same time. Can a family have two fathers? Two big brothers? These and other questions are addressed—and sometimes resolved—in Alfred Guzzetti's delightful, wise, penetrating and insightful Scenes from Childhood—a sequence of scenes of 3- and 4-year-olds talking while they work and play (sometimes it's hard to tell the difference).
     Watching and listening to Guzzetti's children, one is struck with an acute sense of the import and importance of the child's world. It's a world that oscillates at a moment's notice between solemnity and profundity and wildly comic humor. It can be vague or precise. A child promises to return a toy in '23 minutes.' The eating and pronunciation of 'spaghetti' are equally taxing problems.
     Perhaps the best reason to see the film is as a reminder that the child's world is only a brilliant preview of the adult world to come."

—Bruce McCabe, The Boston Globe

"Scenes from Childhood [is] a feature documentary for which Guzzetti—a one-man verité crew of camera and sync sound—photographed his preschool son and friends from their diminutive vantage, like a Tom and Jerry cartoon. It is an almost ethnographic look at an alien culture. . . . Scenes from Childhood is gorgeous, maybe Boston's most beautiful film"
—Gerald Peary, American Film