Child Welfare and the World of Film Noir

I have been remiss in posting my thoughts on my two primary blog interests; Child Welfare Issues and Writing Commentary.

Of late I have been enjoyably wallowing in film noir and a fun on-line course offered by TCM in conjunction with Indiana’s Ball State University and film noir expert, Richard Edwards.

Aside from the unfortunately anagrammed BSU, this has proven to be a reasonably serious and comprehensive course.

I mention this pastime of mine because many of my recent Flash Fiction pieces have had a noir flavour.

Does this relate to child welfare? It does if you share my belief that many of the conceits of noir are imbedded in child protection. There is a dark overtone that shades the complex world of children in distress. In noir, the main protagonist spirals out of control, occasionally compromised by women and men whose interests are shallow and sinister. The same spiral of inevitability often seems to exist in the lives of children caught in terror rarely of their own making.

There are few heroes or heroines in noir. In child welfare, there may be some but even they are tortured and often despised.

The BC Children’s Representatives just released report, Growing Up in BC-2015, written in conjunction with the Provincial Health Officer, paints a grim portrait of life in BC for vulnerable children and youth and especially aboriginal children and kids in care. As much coverage as the report will receive, few will read it. It will stay in the shadows where such sadness often sits and waits.

Aside from the link to the Representative s reports, here is a link to one of my latest flash fiction pieces. It’s short, 250 words, and contains the prompt, “Do you want some coffee?”

In my world, the agonies of the child welfare system are far from being sincerely addressed. Flash fiction is, for me at any rate, easily written, fun to create and worth some of my time.

Like many, I suppose, I am easily diverted from the serious issues of the world.


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