Growing Up

Growing Up

A bittersweet collection of documentaries and a few fiction films on a wide range of childhoods and childhood experiences around the world, from the adventures and idylls of growing up, to coping with personal challenges, and facing terrible tragedies.

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Growing Up
  • Bluebeard (Kékszakállú)

    Directed by Gastón Solnicki • Drama • With Laila Maltz, Lara Tarlowski,
    Katia Szechtman • 2016 • 72 minutes

    Hailed as "an eerie high-modernist fable... mightily minimalist, and drop-dead gorgeous" (Film Comment), Kékszakállú is a beguiling portrait of several young women at the threshold of adu...

  • Adama

    Directed by Simon Rouby • Animation • 2020 • 82 minutes

    ADAMA is a modern and universal story, the coming-of-age tale of a young African boy searching for his brother, just as a new world is about to emerge from the chaos of war.

    12-year-old Adama lives in a remote West African village. Beyond ...

  • Miss Kiet's Children

    Directed by Petra Lataster-Czisch & Peter Lataster • Documentary • 2016 • 113 minutes

    Kiet Engels is the kind of teacher one wishes every schoolchild could have. She is strict but never harsh. She is loving but never soft. Her patience in endless.

    Many of Miss Kiet's pupils are refugees who hav...

  • Lore

    Directed by Cate Shortland • Drama • With Saskia Rosendahl • 2013 • 108 minutes

    Left to fend for themselves after their SS officer father and mother, staunch Nazi believers, are interred by the victorious Allies at the end of World War II, five German children undertake a harrowing journey that ...

  • On the Way to School

    Directed by Pascal Plisson • Documentary • 2013 • 77 minutes

    They live in all four corners of the planet and share a thirst for knowledge. Almost instinctively, they know that their wellbeing (indeed, their survival) depend on knowledge and education. From the dangerous savannahs of Kenya to the...

  • Les Enfants Terribles

    Directed by Ahmet Necdet Çupur • Documentary • 2021 • 93 minutes

    Twenty years ago, Ahmet Necdet Çupur left his village in south-eastern Turkey, against his parents wishes. Now, he is back. But this time as a filmmaker documenting his siblings’ struggles against the same oppressive family culture...

  • School of Babel

    Directed by Julie Bertuccelli • Documentary • 2013 • 89 minutes

    Welcome to one Parisian school's program for newly arrived immigrant children from all over the world. At 'La Grange aux Belles' school in the diverse 10th district of Paris has a program for newly arrived immigrant children that pr...

  • The Inheritors

    Directed by Eugenio Polgovsky • Documentary • 2009 • 90 minutes

    The most highly praised and awarded Mexican documentary in many years, THE INHERITORS by Eugenio Polgovsky immerses us in the daily lives of children who, with their families, survive only by their unrelenting labor.

    The film takes...

  • The Intolerable Burden

    Directed by Chea Prince • Documentary • 2003 • 56 minutes

    In the autumn of 1965, sharecroppers Mae Bertha and Matthew Carter enrolled the youngest eight of their thirteen children in the public schools of Drew, Mississippi. Their decision to send the children to the formerly all white schools wa...

  • Kati With an I

    Directed by Robert Greene • Documentary • 2010 • 86 minutes

    At once universal and personal, this intimate documentary portrait of an Alabama teenage girl on the verge of her high school graduation captures three tumultuous days during which her future is cast into doubt.

    Eighteen-year-old Kati ...

  • Small Wonders

    Directed by Allan Miller • Documentary • 1995 • 77 minutes

    This inspirational documentary deservedly earned a 1995 Academy Award nomination. Divorced mother Roberta Guaspari-Tzavaras taught music in the New York City school system until the budget ax eliminated her job. Dedicated to music and he...

  • 56 UP

    Directed by Michael Apted • Documentary • With Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Basset, Symon Basterfield, Andrew Brackfield, John Brisby, Suzanne Dewey, Nicholas Hitchon, Neil Hughes, Lynn Johnson, Paul Kligerman, Susan Sullivan, Tony Walker, Charles Furneaux • 2012 • 138 minutes

    ”Give me the child ...

  • Oblivion

    Directed by Heddy Honigmann • Documentary • 2008 • 93 minutes

    The latest documentary from Heddy Honigmann (Forever, Metal and Melancholy, O Amor Natural) focuses on Peru's capital city of Lima.

    OBLIVION provides intimate and moving portraits of street musicians, singers, vendors, shoeshine boys...

  • The Children of 209 Saint-Maur Street

    Directed by Ruth Zylberman • Documentary • 2020 • 100 minutes

    209 rue St. Maur is a classic Parisian apartment building in the 10th arrondissement: Stone, built around a courtyard, shops on the bottom floor. In the first decades of the 20th century, it was home to some 300 working class people, ...

  • We Are the Lambeth Boys

    Directed by Karel Reisz • Documentary • With John Rollason, Thomas Ahearne, Patrick Ahearne • 1959 • 53 minutes

    Karel Reisz’s honest and sympathetic depiction of South London teens aimed to challenge the media perception of ‘Teddy Boys’, and would be one of the last films to appear under the Fre...

  • As a Young Girl of Thirteen...

    Directed by Elisabeth Coronel, Florence Gaillard & Arnaud de Mezamat • Documentary • With Simone Lagrange • 2009 • 88 minutes

    In AS A YOUNG GIRL OF 13, Holocaust survivor Simone Lagrange recounts in detail her life before the war, her deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and her role in bringing N...

  • Love & Diane

    Directed by Jennifer Dworkin • Documentary • 2003 • 155 minutes

    Jennifer Dworkin’s groundbreaking documentary LOVE & DIANE presents a searingly honest and moving examination of poverty, welfare and drug rehabilitation in the United States today. Filmed in New York City over a five-year period, D...

  • The Revisionaries

    Directed by Scott Thurman • Documentary • With Ron Wetherington, Kathy Miller, Cynthia Dunbar, Don McLeroy • 2012 • 83 minutes

    In Austin, Texas, fifteen people influence what is taught to the next generation of American children. Once every decade, the highly politicized Texas State Board of Ed...

  • Children of Mandala

    Directed by Anand Patwardhan • Documentary • 2009 • 5 minutes

    A message from the economically displaced children of a slum colony in Mumbai who are educating themselves in the face of government apathy.

  • Cultivating Kids

    Directed by Melissa Young, Mark Dworkin • Documentary • 2017 • 23 minutes

    On South Whidbey Island in the state of Washington, a school farm involves children from kindergarten through high school in every phase of raising organic vegetables as part of their school experience. Supported by local ...

  • Family Business

    Directed by Tom Cohen • Documentary • 1982 • 90 minutes

    Part of the acclaimed Middletown series.

    Howie Snyder is an archetype: a retired Marine colonel in his mid 40s, he is an American entrepreneur struggling to make his business succeed.

    Howie's Shakey's Pizza franchise in Muncie, Indiana em...

  • Guns and Mothers

    Directed by Thom Powers • Documentary • 2003 • 53 minutes

    Two advocacy groups, The Million Moms and the Second Amendment Sisters, are diametrically opposed on gun control, but they agree on one point: mothers will and should have a voice in determining gun control policy in America. GUNS and MOT...

  • Mama Colonel

    Directed by Dieudo Hamadi • Documentary • 2017 • 72 minutes

    Colonel Honorine Manyole, commonly known as 'Mama Colonel,' works for the Congolese police force and heads the unit for the protection of minors and the fight against sexual violence. Having worked for 15 years in Bukavu, in the east of...

  • An Elephant Sitting Still

    Directed by Hu Bo • Drama • With Yu Zhang, Yuchang Peng, Uvin Wang • 2018 • 230 minutes

    Under the gloomy sky of a small town in northern China, different protagonists’ lives are intertwined in this furious tale of nihilistic rage. While protecting his friend from a dangerous school bully, 16-yea...