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
  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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, ...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • School's Out

    Directed by Lisa Molomot • Documentary • 2014 • 36 minutes

    No classroom for these kindergarteners. In Switzerland's Langnau am Albis, a suburb of Zurich, children 4 to 7 years of age go to kindergarten in the woods every day, no matter what the weather. This eye-opening film follows the forest k...

  • 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...

  • The Basketball Game

    Directed by Hart Snider • Animation • 2011 • 5 minutes

    In 1983, nine-year-old Hart attends Jewish summer camp for the first time, while in a nearby Alberta town a social studies teacher makes headlines after it's discovered he's been teaching anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. In the aftermath,...

  • Gunnin' for that #1 Spot

    Directed by Adam Yauch • Documentary • 2008 • 97 minutes

    On the corner of 155th Street and Frederick Douglas Boulevard in Harlem, New York, lies Rucker Park. By appearances, the green concrete pavement, anchored on either end by its run down slab bleachers, is no different than any other basketb...

  • 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...

  • The Strange Little Cat

    Directed by Ramon Zurcher • Drama • With Jenny Schily, Anjorka Strechel, Mia Kasalo • 2014 • 72 minutes

    In the case of THE STRANGE LITTLE CAT, an extended family-dinner gathering becomes an exquisitely layered confection ready for writer-director Ramon Zurcher's razor-sharp slicing. A mother des...