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
  • Maidentrip

    Directed by Jillian Schlesinger • Documentary • 2013 • 82 minutes

    14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out - camera in hand - on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. In the wake of a year-long battle with Dutch authorities that sparked...

  • Summer White

    Directed by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson • Drama • With Adrián Ross, Sophie Alexander-Katz • 2020 • 85 minutes

    13-year-old Rodrigo is a solitary teenager who finds solace in his intimate relationship with his mother, Valeria. She is his best friend, his protector, and his entire world. When her new bo...

  • Almost Friends

    Directed by Nitzan Ophir • Documentary • 2014 • 58 minutes

    Two girls meet in the “cloud”. 

    Samar, 12, lives in Lod, a mixed city marred by poverty and crime. She has an Arab Israeli mother and a Palestinian father from the Occupied Territories.

    Linor, 11, lives in Tlamim, a religious Jewish se...

  • One Step From Glory

    Directed by Fabrice Macaux • Documentary • 2020 • 53 minutes

    Le Havre Athletic Club (HAC) training center is one of the best and most demanding in Europe, the oldest club in French football.

    Abdel, 18, is entering a decisive year; the last in the center for this young footballer. The challenge ...

  • As If It Were Yesterday

    Directed by Myriam Abramovicz and Esther Hoffenberg • Documentary • 1980 • 84 minutes

    Belgium, 1940. Amidst escalating terror and raids on Jewish residents by the occupying Nazi forces, a resistance movement emerges to shelter Jewish children from deportation and extermination. Myriam Abramowicz...

  • Pony Boys

    Directed by Eric Stange • Documentary • 2022 • 22 minutes

    Summer, 1967. Two Massachusetts boys – 9 and 11 — are desperate to visit Expo ’67 in Montreal — the largest World’s Fair ever. But their parents can’t take them. Then Mom comes up with the solution: hitch their pet Shetland pony King to a...

  • Kisses

    Directed by Lance Daly • Drama • With Shane Curry, Kelly O'Neill • 2010 • 78 minutes

    On the fringes of Dublin two kids, Kylie and Dylan, live in a suburban housing estate devoid of life, colour and the prospect of escape. Kylie lives with five other siblings and her overworked mother. Next door,...

  • Attila Marcel

    Directed by Sylvain Chomet • Drama • With Guillaume Gouix, Anne Le Ny • 2013 • 104 minutes

    Paul, thirty or so, lives in a Paris apartment with his aunts, two old aristocrats who have raised him since he was two and who dream of seeing him become a virtuoso pianist. His life is made up of the sam...

  • Summer 1993

    Directed by Carla Simón • Drama • With Laia Artigas, Paula Robles • 2017 • 96 minutes

    In Carla Simon’s touching autobiographical film, six-year-old Frida looks on in silence as the last objects from her recently deceased mother’s apartment in Barcelona are placed in boxes. Although her aunt, unc...

  • Crystal Swan

    Directed by Darya Zhuk • Drama • With Alina Nasibullina, Ivan Mulin • 2018 • 93 minutes

    Set a few years after Belarus gained independence in 1990, this vibrant debut feature follows the path of young Evelina, who dreams of moving to Chicago in order to pursue her passion for house music. However...

  • Ray & Liz

    Directed by Richard Billingham • Drama • With Patrick Romer, Richard Ashton, Justin Salinger • 2018 • 107 minutes

    On the outskirts of Birmingham and the margins of society, the Billingham family perform extreme rituals and break social taboos as they muddle through a life decided by factors beyo...

  • Casa Grande

    Directed by Fellipe Barbosa • Drama • With Marcello Novaes, Suzana Pires, Thales Cavalcanti • 2014 • 115 minutes

    Jean Cavalcanti attends a well reguarded private boys' school. He lives a carefree life of moderate privilege in a gated, custom built house in an affluent neighborhood in suburban Ri...

  • Scheme Birds

    Directed by Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin • Documentary • 2019 • 86 minutes

    The story of Gemma, a teenage troublemaker, growing up in a world of pigeons and violence. From childhood to motherhood, her life unfolds as innocent games turn towards serious crime. Directors Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hall...

  • Sexy Baby

    Directed by Jill Bauer, Ronna Gradus • Documentary • 2012 • 83 minutes

    These days, sex doesn't just sell, it saturates our culture. In the age of runaway social media and "sexting," raunchy rap songs on pop radio and hardcore pornography at the click of a mouse—what's it like to be a woman? A gi...

  • Billy the Kid

    Directed by Jennifer Venditti • Documentary • With Billy P, Penny Baker, Heather Pelletier • 2007 • 84 minutes

    A provocative coming-of-age story, Jennifer Venditti's debut film, BILLY THE KID (2007), is an acclaimed odyssey into the soul of an American teenager. Venditti follows Billy as he navi...

  • 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 ...

  • We Go Way Back

    Directed by Lynn Shelton • Drama • With Amber Hubert, Maggie Brown, Kate Bayley • 2006 • 79 minutes

    Lynn Shelton's debut feature draws on her past as a stage actress but WE GO WAY BACK is no autobiographical drama. Kate (Amber Hubert) is a struggling actress who has given up her happiness and he...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • We Need to Talk About Kevin

    Directed by Lynne Ramsay • Drama • With Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller • 2010 • 112 minutes

    A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, Lynne Ramsay’s WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN explores the fractious relationship between a mother and her evil son. Tilda Swinton, in a bracing...

  • Best Kept Secret

    Directed by Samantha Buck • Documentary • With Janet Mino, Alyce Barnhardt, Robert Caspar, Johnson Green, Carla Byrd, Matthew McNabb • 2012 • 85 minutes

    Janet Mino has taught her class of students with autism for four years. When they graduate in spring 2012, they will leave the security of the ...

  • We Are the Lambeth Boys (Karel Reisz)

    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...

  • Resistance is Life

    Directed by Apo W. Bazidi • Documentary • 2017 • 73 minutes

    From a refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border, an 8-year-old girl named Evlin characterizes the resilience of her hometown of Kobane against ISIS militants. In the midst of the tragic war in Syria, Evlin's story provides hope.

  • 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...