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People Like Maria

UK, 1958 (MIFF 1958, Programme 7)

Director: Harry Wyatt

The film was made as a tribute to the tenth anniversary of the World Health Organization: Patterned for multi-lingual presentations (Spanish, French versions are already completed), it is a series of true short stories of simple workers in the field who solve their problems after training by W.H.O. experts. It endeavours to avoid the conventional attitude of the skilled whites helping the poor underdeveloped countries.

Harry Watt who personally entered this film for the Melbourne Festival says "the players in it are all amateur, none of them having seen a film camera before. In Bolivia for instance, the Indians couldn't even speak Spanish and one had to direct them through an English-speaking Spaniard who translated to an Indian-speaking Spaniard who translated to the Indians. for a lot of complications but it was challenge."

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