Thursday, 29 March 2012

I Am Eleven - a documentary

Last weekend we went along to  the  Young at Heart Film Festival for the screening of the documentary  'I am Eleven'.   I took all my children along for this screening (aged 13, 10 and 8 years) because I think it is important for them to aware of how other children  experience life.

I AM ELEVEN follows in the footsteps of the 7up series, documenting children being candid  about their everyday  life. I AM ELEVEN  is different as it focuses on the age 11 - a memorable age for the director. This is a special  film that is a beautiful reminder of how innocent yet aware we are of the world  at the tender age of Eleven.

Before we left for the screening my children had no idea where we were going... I just told them to a kids documentary that is  screening within a  film festival. Of course, they groaned at the thought before we arrived  but  I can always tell if my kids love a film or not.  The signs are obvious to any parent if a film passes the boredom  test - if  there is constant moving or kicking of a chair we might as well go home OR if I  get smiles, whispers or nods of acknowledgement/knowing throughout a film I know they have been won over. Thankfully, it was the later.

All the children that  feature in the documentary are amazing: There were some children we would  have loved to learn more about as some  clips shown had only just scratched  the surface.  The director, Genevieve Bailey  had over 100 hours of footage to go through so it is  not surprising that  it was a difficult decision on how much time was  featured with each child.

Towards the end of the  film Genevieve returns to visit some of the children. As a parent it is amazing to see the growth spurt physically and mentally  of just over a few years.

Afterwards, we sat at the Opera Bar with our fries and drinks and chatted about our favourite Eleven year olds like they were old friends. This is a wonderful documentary that captures a special moment in time in our/and our children's childhood.  Do your kids a favour and please try and catch it when it plays in your city.

What did my kids think?
Oscar: 13 -   I enjoyed favourite quote was from Billy when he was revisited....  "The power of the 'stache!"
Mischa: 10 (almost 11) - It was interesting to see kids  being 11.  It was good! I want to see what they are doing now.
Salvador: 8 -  I liked it and  seeing other kids from around the world.

I Am Eleven have announced Australian screening dates:
More info:

If you want to share how other children experience life with your children then check out "Where Children Sleep" - a photo documentary by James Mollison on children from around the world and their bedrooms. Each image also shares a story of their life.