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Hello, Muscles — Marnie Baxter, 2022

Victoria lives with her mum and has to tolerate her mum’s no-good boyfriend always being around because she “needs him”. Bullied by the boyfriend and harassed by some local kids, Victoria sets off on a mission to build up her muscles; until a shopkeeper makes her rethink her ideas about what strength really is.

This film, featuring Scottish ‘Game of Thrones’ star Kate Dickie, brings our attention to the pressures and responsibilities that young carers have to deal with.

Classroom Activities

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  • Watch until 00:33 and look at the colours in Victoria’s and her mum’s bedrooms. What do you notice and what does this suggest?
  • The film is shot with a handheld camera throughout. What is the effect of this? Why might the filmmaker have chosen to do this?
  • Freeze-frame the film at 02:30. What is the effect of this extreme long shot?
  • Freeze-frame the film at 05:03. How is a bond established between Victoria and the shopkeeper?
  • Watch the montage from 05:45 to 06:55. What story is being established here, and how? How does the editing contribute to the montage?
  • What is the symbolism of the dog in his cage? What is the symbolism f the dog’s name – Samson? What about Victoria’s name?


  • The true meaning of Victoria’s mum saying “I need him” and Victoria’s real reason for building up her muscles is revealed from 11:10. Did you see this coming? What did you think “I need him” and the muscle-building meant before seeing this?
  • Freeze-frame the film on the statistic at 11:55 – that nearly one million young people in the UK have caring responsibilities. Did you know or suspect this? Even given this number, many young carers are actually not identified – why might this be the case?
  • What do you think caring responsibilities might look like? What impact could these caring responsibilities have on a young person’s life? Draw a human
  • silhouette and annotate it with physical roles and responsibilities (e.g. around the hands and feet) and emotional tasks, around the head and heart.
  • What does the word ‘responsibility’ mean to you? What positive connotations does this word have? What negative connotations?
  • Can you think of any other films, TV shows, books etc. that feature a young carer? If so, how are young carers represented? If not, why do you think this is the case?



  • Write a personal essay about a time you were given a specific responsibility. What did you have to do? How did you cope with the situation?
  • Write a short story about someone discovering their inner strength.
  • Write a haiku about strength.


  • Make a short film bringing awareness to people about young carers and highlighting support that is available.


  • Design your own piece of keep-fit equipment.


  • Make a playlist of five to ten songs about strength. Which one speaks to you the most? Why?

Clip Details

Year of Production 2022
Genre Drama
Curriculum Areas Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education, Social Studies
Director Marnie Baxter
Country of Origin United Kingdom
Medium / Content Live Action, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Feelings, Relationships, Danger / Fear, Health, Identity / Self, Intolerance / Misconceptions
Clip Length 14:12
Clip Length 14:12
Age Group S1-S3, S4-S6