Rain, rain, rain. What better way to pass a rainy weekend than to catch up on unseen classics? It was high time to become acquainted with the films of Manoel de Oliveira, native of Porto, and the oldest active film director in the world, whose career spanned the silent era and the digital age. He passed away in April at the age of 107. Aniki-Bóbó was his first feature length film, from 1942. And what a charm it is. This film is a wonderful example of the schoolyard morality play, a genre that accounts for a number of must-see pictures in the Pirouette film library. It seems particularly prevalent among European film makers. Just think of Le 400 Coups (Francois Truffaut, 1959), La Guerre des Boutons (Yves Robert, 1962), and the splendid Zero de Conduite (Jean Vigo, 1933), perhaps the first of its kind. That said, Aniki-Bóbó also had me thinking back to childhood re-runs on American TV of the legendary Little Rascals (Our Gang, 220 episodes in total, from when the series was first screened with sound in 1929). The lessons of the playground, writ large, are those that we revisit time and again in later life – the friendships, the rivalries, the heartbreaks and the pranks. Any adult watching this film will recognise their younger selves – and many early friends and rivals – in one or other episode of life on banks of the River Douro. For us, the film was worth seeing for the cinematic tour of Porto alone – so very different 75 years on, and yet unchanging. Like the schoolyards our children learn and play in today.