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My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts

My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts

| 10 min

Torill Kove's grandmother often told her stories. One in particular revolved around ironing shirts for the King of Norway. And what if that intriguing detail was just the tip of the iceberg? Perhaps she also worked covertly in the Norwegian resistance... Maybe she even spearheaded a campaign to create an unprecedented brand of guerrilla warfare! Treating history as a fabric woven from personal stories, animator Torill Kove follows a thread of family history, embroidering it with playful twists along the way. In My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts, she imaginatively renders her grandmother's life and work in Oslo, especially during World War II. Sharp and whimsical, her story combines her grandmother's tales with historical events and fantasy, and shows how a cherished anecdote can come to acquire a mythical status. My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts is about an ordinary woman with a revolutionary instinct. With sharp humour it explores storytelling, myth-making and the important contributions that are possible through the most humble means.

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  • story
    Torill Kove
  • direction
    Torill Kove
  • animation
    Torill Kove
  • narration
    Mag Ruffman
  • colour design
    Anne Ashton
  • additional animation
    Luigi Allemano
    Ketil Bruun Andersen
  • additional backgrounds
    Anne Ashton
    Natasha Nikitina
  • trace and paint
    Luigi Allemano
    Ketil Bruun Andersen
    Anne Ashton
    Laurence Ayi
    Elaine Gasco
    Gina Georgousis
  • animation camera
    Pierre Landry
    Lynda Pelley
    Thea Pratt
    Karl Erik Ruud
  • animatic
    Pal Gengenbach
    Morten Skallerud
  • testing
    Pal Gengenbach
    Morten Skallerud
  • music
    Kevin Dean
  • musician
    Kevin Dean
    Jan Jarczyk
    Dave Laing
  • sound
    Normand Roger
    Jean-Baptiste Roger
  • music recording
    Geoffrey Mitchell
    Martin Rouillard
  • final mix
    Shelley Craig
  • final mix - assistance
    Geoffrey Mitchell
  • post-production coordination
    Éric Barbeau
  • program administrator
    Gisèle Guilbault
  • executive producer
    David Verrall
  • producer
    Marcy Page
    Lars Tommerbakke


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Ages 12 to 17

Study Guide - Guide 1

Civics/Citizenship - Citizen Responsibilities
English Language Arts - Children's Stories/Fables
History - World War II

Relate story to historical accounts of Nazi resistance in Norway. (See also the film: Through My Thick Glasses) Why did the woman feel so proud of her work? Is it possible to make a difference through such non-violent acts? Create a list of things people can do to support big causes in small ways. Ask students whether everything in the story is true. What is a tall tale? Brainstorm ideas about everyday adventures that could be turned into tall tales and have students write their own.

My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts
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