What is this short film or show about a place where it rains for a decade and then is sunny for one day?
July 13, 2004 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Do you recognize this story? Perhaps 15 years ago, I saw a short film or PBS show about a fictional world where it rained for a decade, and then the sun would come out for one day. The show focused on a school full of children, who were preparing for the sun to make one of its rare appearences. [more inside]

In the story, there was a child who remembered the last time the sun came out, but all the other children claimed she was making the memory up. These evil kids locked her in a basement room ... then the sun came out, flowers bloomed, and the kids forgot about the girl they'd locked in the basement. The show ended with the rain coming back, and the children remembering the girl locked in the basement, and bringing her flowers they'd picked. Not especially uplifting, which may have been why, as a child, it totally affected me.

Does any of this sound familiar? I think it might have been based on a book.
posted by arielmeadow to Media & Arts (21 answers total)
I remember this story... but I never saw it on television. I remember reading the story/book in my advanced placement class when i was 11.
posted by rhapsodie at 8:22 PM on July 13, 2004

It's a short story by Ray Bradbury and I think it actually takes place on Venus. Can't remember the name of it, though.
posted by Asparagirl at 8:30 PM on July 13, 2004

All Summer in a Day

Based on the Ray Bradbury short story of the same name.

Wikipedia entry.
posted by bitpart at 8:30 PM on July 13, 2004

Ok, related Bradbury question... what's the Bradbury story about the house that keeps running automatically after a nuclear holocaust?
posted by ALongDecember at 8:41 PM on July 13, 2004

I'm an idiot. See why I didn't post it to AxMe proper?
posted by ALongDecember at 8:43 PM on July 13, 2004

Amazing! This is the one AskMe question I wanted to know, but haven't got around to asking. If I recall correctly, this film played as an "HBO Short Cut" between feature films on the network in about 1983 or so.
posted by samuelad at 9:10 PM on July 13, 2004

One of my favorite short stories, ever.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:24 PM on July 13, 2004

Wow! Thanks so much, everyone! I think I underestimated when I saw the film...it must have been TWENTY years ago. I have such keen memories of it, and on numerous drunken nights have asked friends if they remember it...no one ever has...UNTIL NOW!

Thanks, AskMetaFilter!

(Now I must go read the short story.)
posted by arielmeadow at 10:23 PM on July 13, 2004

I never realized, but the story is the precise negative of Asimov's Nightfall.

Stars in my eyes like flowers on the fields of summer.
posted by mwhybark at 10:46 PM on July 13, 2004

For some reason this story really stuck out in my mind. After I read the question I immediately thought it was a Ray Bradbury short story, but didn't have the google skills to find the name. Strange that one short story I read in class 10+ years ago would stick out in my mind like that.
posted by gyc at 11:18 PM on July 13, 2004

Gyc, I'm thinking that something about this story REALLY grabs children's imaginations/emotions ... It's remarkable to me that I can clearly remember shots from the All Summer in a Day film that I must have seen in 1983 or so. I assumed that it was just because, as a native Seattleite, I related to the rain component...but maybe I was wrong? Sounds like the story really sticks out in the minds of adults who were exposed to it as children.
posted by arielmeadow at 11:24 PM on July 13, 2004

holy crap ALongDecember, you have no idea how long i've been trying to remember the name of that story. thanks so much for the link!
posted by joedan at 1:45 AM on July 14, 2004

Did anybody else take the English Language 'O' level where this was the comprehension exercise?
posted by biffa at 2:09 AM on July 14, 2004

Yep, I saw it too. I guess the impression I took away was how isolated and sad those kids were for living on Venus (or wherever). I recall them getting like hours and hours of classtime training to prepare them for their awesome encounter with the sun, and then putting on tons of suncreen, and writing papers on the sun's behavior, all in aniticpation of 20 minutes of sun (not even an hour, as I recall). One of them got stuck somewhere, locked inside or something, and only had a one-inch slice of sun to enjoy through a doorframe or something. Sad film. Sad story.

/faded old memories
posted by scarabic at 2:30 AM on July 14, 2004

That brings back memories. We were shown this in primary school (in England), but I'd forgotten about it entirely. Thanks.
posted by fvw at 4:54 AM on July 14, 2004

I haven't re-read it yet, but my memory is that one of the children is locked away by bullies, and that's why he misses out.
posted by o2b at 11:05 AM on July 14, 2004

I just re-read it, it's a she.
posted by o2b at 11:07 AM on July 14, 2004

I remember watching this when I was a kid too. This being the UK it was introduced like so:
"And now a film about some children who live on a planet where the sun only comes out once every ten years. Sounds familiar."

I guess it stayed with me because it was so sad. The kids are messing around, they lock the girl in a closet and are taunting her. They get distracted when the sun comes out and run outside. It's not until the sun has gone that they remember their friend locked in the closet.

I guess all kids can relate to it, being really excited about a birthday or a day out and then having your friends let you down. Umm..not that I was ever locked in a closet. No, never happened to me.
posted by dodgygeezer at 11:15 AM on July 14, 2004

In the unlikely event that some P2P pro can find the short film out there on the networks, a pointer would be much appreciated.
posted by samuelad at 11:28 AM on July 14, 2004

i totally remember this, and it was terribly sad and mean. I'm sure i saw it when i was young tho--did they do a 60s or 70s version?
posted by amberglow at 1:14 PM on July 14, 2004

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