A SHORT 1970s film in which children from Clifton Primary School carry out murderous revenge on their head teacher has appeared online.
The six-minute film, which can be seen on the News Telegraph website, was set in the 19th century and shot in colour with the help of head teacher Alan Grihault in 1971 as part of a class project.
Mr Grihault, who plays himself, is attacked by a group of pupils, who are now in their 50s, and hanged from a tree after he unfairly punished the boys for violently defending girls in the playground.
He wrongly assumed his son, a pupil, was innocent when he caught the lads beating him up, and he caned each one, not realising they were exacting revenge on his son for bullying a group of girls.
The children hatched a plot to punish their head teacher and they fashioned a noose in the playground, accosted him on his way home and hanged him from a tree before laying flowers on his lifeless corpse and saying a short prayer.
His son was then chased down a field and shoved head first into a stream.
Mr Grihault, who is now 77 and, having travelled the world, is living in Mauritius as a TV presenter and teacher-trainer, said the children had a lot of fun making the short film – shot on a borrowed 8mm cine camera.
He said: “We all really enjoyed doing it, the kids especially.
“In those days, we never used corporal punishment, so they found it great fun pretending to be caned and then hanging their own headmaster.
“It was all their own work. The kids did it all, including writing the script.”
“It was in those days, back in the 1960s, that primary school education was in its prime.”
The film, which Mr Grihault has posted on YouTube alongside his own educational films he makes for Mauritian television, was awarded a one-star accolade by a film classification organisation at the time.
The school’s former cook, Marion Gallimore, who worked at Clifton Primary School for more than 20 years, has fond memories of Mr Grihault.
She said: “He was brilliant. He was a lot of fun – very strict, but we had a lot of fun with him and the kids all really respected him.”
During the time Mr Grihault ran Clifton, his first headship after working at schools in Derby, it went from a tiny school with just one teacher to a thriving one with three.
The film, which has been digitised and uploaded to the internet by Mr Grihault, can be seen at www.ashbourne newstelegraph.co.uk.