Analyse the opening section of the television documentary 'Children of Crime' and evaluate its success.

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Analyse the opening section of the television documentary ‘Children of Crime’ and evaluate its success.

In the television documentary ‘Children of Crime’, made by the BBC, it shows us many of this country’s most vicious children being involved in offences such as murder. ‘Children of Crime’ is a series of programmes reporting on different children ranging from the 1960’s up until modern day. It shows us that crime is not a new craze amongst the children of today but has been around for many years. One of the cases examined is Mary Bell, the focus of this assignment. Mary Bell was just ten years old when she murdered two small boys: Martin Brown aged 4 and Brian Howe aged 3. She came from a dysfunctional background and her behaviour at home, playing in the streets and at school was very strange and sometimes even disturbing. After murdering the boys, she was convicted of manslaughter in December 1968. She was too young for prison and mental institutes and so was sent to a high security, all boys’ facility where she remained for some time. By analysing the opening section of ‘Children of Crime’, a conclusion should be reached of how successful the documentary was.

In the introduction to the programme the audience were presented with several frames, which lead into the main documentary. The first two frames are in monochrome, the first showing two young boys throwing stones at the window of a derelict house with the face of Mary Bell fading into the shot after a few seconds. The second frame shows gangs of youths kicking another boy; there is also a lot of violence in the background. The third and fourth frames are recent CCTV footage showing the boys that murdered Jamie Bulger; the two faces of these boys fade into the corners of the screen. The fourth frame shows a boy smashing a car window and stealing from the car, his picture also appears into the corner of the screen. The fifth frame is a cell door closing and someone locking it, once again a picture of a child fades into the corner. The final frame in the introduction is that of the title. There is a shot of a courtroom, the camera slowly moves around the room to focus on where the judge would be; the title then fades across the bottom of the screen.

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In these frames all of the children have committed some kind of crime, some are petty crime but others more serious. The first two frames are in monochrome, the next two in CCTV footage, and the last one in colour footage. This shows us that crime amongst children is something that has been happening for many years. Mary Bell’s face is the first picture to appear, this is maybe because she was the first child criminal that was in the media. In frame five we see a cell door, this is associated with adults rather than children and therefore brings ...

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