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We Did it Together (2003)

Courtesy of Amber Films

Main image of We Did it Together (2003)
Video, colour, 32 mins
Production CompanyAmber Films
In collaboration withTeen Talk

Four teenage parents from East Durham talk about their experiences: the financial woes and feelings of isolation but also the joy of parenthood.

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This educational film (full title: We Did It Together. So Why Do I Feel So Alone?) grew out of a peer education project called Teentalk, which was designed to offer secondary school pupils an insight into the wide and varied issues that can face teenage parents. With support from the Arts Council, the Northern Rock Foundation, Durham County Council and Easington NHS Primary Care Trust, four of the young mothers involved in the project worked with Amber to produce a video that reflected the realities of their lives.

In sympathy with the aims of the project and its intended audience, the film is formally very simple. Combining direct address to camera by the participants with interview footage, observational sequences, and still photographs, it allows the young parents to communicate with their audience in a relatively unmediated way. In its content, the film does not shy away from some of the harsh realities of teenage parenthood, whether they are emotional, practical or financial. But it is far from unremittingly bleak - the women all speak of the joys of being a mother as well as the hardships.

This is a carefully constructed film that admirably fulfils its objectives as a vehicle for awareness and discussion. It avoids overt editorialising, allowing the participants to speak for themselves and expressing a range of views, issues and opinions with which the audience can engage in their own way. Together with its supporting educational materials, the film provides secondary school teachers seeking to address issues of teenage sexuality and parenthood with their students with an excellent enabling tool.

Martin Hunt

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Video Clips
Extract 1 (2:43)
Extract 2 (3:04)
Amber Collective (1969-)
Amber Films