The sun only comes out once every ten years...
February 5, 2014 2:04 PM   Subscribe

My elementary school class was shown a movie about a dystopian future where the sun only appeared once in a while. I saw the movie sometime between 1984 and 1986. It was in the gifted program if that makes any difference. I’m sure the movie was meant to be thought-provoking. I was slightly traumatized. This is what I remember: 1) The sun only comes out once at a ridiculously long interval, maybe once a year or once every 10 years. 2) Around five or six school age kids standing in front of a huge wall of tanning bed lights. There were in their bathing suits and wearing eye protecting goggles. They talked amongst one another and were told by the teachers to switch sides every so often. 3) When the sun came out, colorful flowers bloomed, children ran in the fields, but there was one bullied child locked in an interior room or closet. She or he was not able to enjoy the one day of sunshine. Has anyone seen this or know its name? Internet searches have been fruitless. Thanks
posted by harperdrew to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
All Summer In A Day, by Ray Bradbury, is the short story.
posted by Frowner at 2:04 PM on February 5, 2014 [11 favorites]

Less than one minute. Metafilter is amazing!
posted by harperdrew at 2:06 PM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Came to say exactly what Frowner said. I would like to see the movie, though
posted by efalk at 2:06 PM on February 5, 2014

Metafilter is amazing, and also that short story - which I was given to read in a gifted and taleted program when I was, like, eight - traumatized me for years.
posted by Frowner at 2:07 PM on February 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

More here. This is one of the most frequently asked questions on AskMetaFilter - if not THE most frequently asked.
posted by Miko at 2:07 PM on February 5, 2014 [20 favorites]

This has to be one of the most asked questions on AskMe.
posted by lalex at 2:07 PM on February 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

I guess everyone is traumatized by this story!
posted by Frowner at 2:08 PM on February 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

@ Frowner - maybe I don't want to read the whole thing...and why in the world would they try to traumatize us in elementary school? Or maybe "gifted" kids get lost in existential spirals of trauma easily. Chicken and egg question.
posted by harperdrew at 2:10 PM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

@miko and lalex- an epidemic of traumatized children! We all saw it so young and we need some resolution.
posted by harperdrew at 2:12 PM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

All Summer in a Day, Parts 1, 2, 3.
posted by zarq at 2:16 PM on February 5, 2014 [7 favorites]

This is the strangest thing. Over the past few weeks I had been formulating this same question in my mind. I always think about that film and was on the verge of posting it myself.

Perhaps it was meant as a tool to use when they're ready to activate us...
posted by jardinier at 2:28 PM on February 5, 2014 [11 favorites]

I remember watching this in 6th grade and it really stuck with me, too.
posted by aniola at 3:29 PM on February 5, 2014

All Summer In A Day, to nth everyone. I also remember this story from elementary school (in the 70's, not gifted/talented - just regular story time). I often recall it this time of year as the gloom draws on in Portland . . .
posted by ainsley at 4:02 PM on February 5, 2014

Lifelong Oregonian here... and I think I'm glad I never encountered that in TAG classes in the 80s. Maybe they'd realized it would be too cruel? (Not sure if I'm joking or not - that story bugs me now, so I can totally understand why it would be haunting others years later.)
posted by stormyteal at 4:28 PM on February 5, 2014

why in the world would they try to traumatize us in elementary school?

I swear, every damn book we had to read in school was traumatizing, from elementary all the way through college. Except for Jane Austen. All Summer In A Day is cheerful by comparison because nobody dies in it. Usually with everything we had to read, at the very least a pet was killed.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:34 PM on February 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

[Hey folks, glad you're engaged with the question but we still sort of need to keep it AskMeish around here, if you want to chat more maybe try Chat?]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:39 PM on February 5, 2014

I am also an Oregonian, and because I had read this story, I had huge anxiety about the 1979 solar eclipse. My teacher told me that the next time a solar eclipse would be that total in our area would be when I was 40! I couldn't imagine living that long, so I was panicked about the possibility of missing it.
I don't even remember for sure whether the sky was clear enough to see it, because the actual event is overshadowed by my worry about it.
I watched that "next good eclipse" with my daughters two years ago.
posted by Tool of the Conspiracy at 5:43 PM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

The ending, when they approach the now-quiet closet, to open the door....

Add me to the "deeply affected" pile, though I'm not sure if I was traumatized. Changed, definitely. Trauma was reading The Wild Horse of Santander where they shot the horse in the end. I was in reading a classroom, alone, and howling in tears at that.
posted by jokeefe at 6:05 PM on February 5, 2014

You might enjoy the YA fiction book The Age of Miracles by Karen Walker Turner. It has similar themes. I only read it about a year ago, as an adult, and I am mildly traumatized by it.
posted by Zaire at 6:29 PM on February 5, 2014

My 11 year old has it in her current reader as well. Traumatizing children with science fiction never gets old!
posted by latkes at 7:27 PM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes, I was also traumatized by this short film, which was shown to my 3rd or 4th grade DC-area elementary school class in the late 80s. I still have flashbacks of the little girl being freed from the coat closet cell and asking her classmates in an accusatory tone, "You saw the sun?"
posted by Allez at 8:34 PM on February 5, 2014

Indeed, All Summer in a Day. This was also my very first AskMe question, over five years ago. Even then, someone remarked on how popular a question this was. What's fascinating is that I then reviewed the prior questions at the time, and there was a split between people who'd read the original story and had seen the movie (I was in the latter camp). Despite the two very different media, the tale was deeply affecting to both groups. Pretty amazing.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 1:24 AM on February 6, 2014

« Older What is Cibo Matto's "Emerald Tuesday" (heavily)...   |   Is there a way to keep bathwater from cooling? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.