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  • Martha and Ethel [VHS]
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Martha and Ethel [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Martha Kneifel, Ethel Edwards, Ruth Fuglistaller
  • Directors: Jyll Johnstone
  • Writers: Jyll Johnstone, Barbara Ettinger, Christina Houlihan, Alysha Cohen, Frank Ortega
  • Producers: Jyll Johnstone, Amy Schewel, Barbara Ettinger, Christina Houlihan, Gretchen McGowan
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home E
  • VHS Release Date: January 9, 1996
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303908578
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,999 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I don't know the film maker's original intent. When I saw the film in a theater the audience laughed at the description of German child rearing as learned by Martha in a 3rd Reich child rearing school in Oberkirsh. We're a country along with other countries who are so blocked out about child trauma.

In the 19th century the worst child trauma occurred in Japan and Germany. In Germany it was so bad that when the English and the French went on holiday they were appalled. And we know childhood wasn't fun in England or France in the 1800s so for them to be appalled. well, you know it was bad.

The brothers in the film one can see their pain if one isn't disconnected themselves.

You can't get grants to study the rich and from what little has been surmised it is likely that in the homes of the rich children are more traumatized than in the homes of the poor.

I'll have to re-watch it (and buy it as I teach a class on recognizing child abuse) and see if this many years later the film makers were attempting to, indeed, show the world how trauma of children effect them as adults or they meant for the audience to laugh at children being traumatized. I may then change how many stars I give it.

Roger Ebert gave the film three stars and called it "as fascinating for what it doesn't say as for what it does." Yes, I think I'm on the same page as Ebert then. Watch it for what it doesn't say.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reader on May 29, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This documentary was one of the best that I've seen. The film maker did a very good job of capturing the essence of both women. The best thing about the overall story was that it shows how influential our elderly citizens have been in regards to who children become later in life. It's not a coincidence that these women lived long lives. They learned the value of hard work, sacrifice and honest emotion at an early age. Those valuable character traits are the things that provide such fortitude. This film is a wonderful affirmation of those values.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Clauss on November 10, 2006
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I teach a college course in family and consumer sciences in which students examine human systems across the lifespan. Martha and Ethel is a wondeful portrayal of human systems that form and become classified as families, regardless of biological ties.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
the Film,Martha and Ethel By Jyll Johnstone Was so Touching it made me think about My own childhood.
Buy this documentary and it will reward you!!!!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susa Raffo on June 11, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I saw this film at the village few years ago,visiting my friends in N.YORK.I was deeply moved of how Jyll Johnstone used this two lovely women to show theirs values and theirs families lives.Amazing the way this director works with emotions,and how colors and the absence of them,confirm what she wanted to say.
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