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Child Will Die, The (Matar a un niño) — Alenda Brothers, 2011

This short film tells the story of a few hours on a Sunday morning in the lives of a young boy and his family as they go about their normal routine. We learn what each person wants and desires and how this impacts the other family members. From the outset we know / are told and reminded that a child is going to die. Our expectations are set up for a significant and tragic loss and we are led inexorably to a somewhat surprising turn of events.

Classroom Activities

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  • What vehicles does the director use to lead us towards the death of a child?
  • What cinematographic techniques does the director employ in the first part of the film (until just before 10am)? What effect does this have on the viewer?
  • What tensions are there between what the boy wants and what the adults believe? How is this resolved dramatically?
  • What symbols are used to represent the boy’s innocence?
  • How are the images of the car represented and what is the effect of this? Look specifically at the time frames 02:58-03:06.
  • How are music and film techniques used to focus our attention and heighten awareness?
  • How does the director manipulate what we are feeling and expecting?
  • What techniques are used in the 10 seconds prior to 10 am and how does this lead us towards a particular conclusion / expectation?
  • At what point in the film is the real death of a child revealed? Can you explain how the director does this and why this is the actual death of a child?
  • Interpret the phrase “a child has died, fear is born” from the closing sequences of the film.


  • Look closely at the father completing the crossword. The underlined clue “el estado del alma limpia de culpa” can be translated as “the state of the soul free of guilt” – the father completes the clue with “Inocencia” – innocence. Contextualise this moment in the film with reference to what we have believed up to this moment and what is going to happen next.
  • Is there a memory or an event that, for you, heralded the end of childhood / the beginning of adulthood?



  • Imagine that you are the boy and describe how you feel when you realise what has happened to the car.
  • Stop the film at 06:08 and ask the pupils to write an account of what happens next.
  • The young boy in the film desperately wants to go out boating with his dad. What event or hobby would you really like to do with a significant adult in your life? Write a poem or imaginary account of it.


  • As young people grow up and mature their thoughts and feeling change as their bodies change physically. How can young people help each other during these transitions? What do young people need to make these transitions as smoothly as possible? What can adults, teachers and parents do to help?
  • What life events sometimes cause young people to have to grow up / mature more quickly?
  • What organisations and associations can young people turn to for help as they grow up and experience difficulties or trauma?

Clip Details

Year of Production 2011
Genre Drama
Curriculum Areas Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education, Social Studies
Director Alenda Brothers
Country of Origin Spain
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Black & White, Sound
Themes Feelings, Relationships, Loss / Memories, Danger / Fear, Identity / Self, Intolerance / Misconceptions
Clip Length 08:44
Clip Length 08:44
Age Group S4-S6