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I AM ELEVEN (Film) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Genre:
 
Length: 93 minutes
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3/ 5


User Rating
2 total ratings

 

We liked?


A fascinating look into the minds of eleven year olds around the world.

Not so much?


The question and answer format doesn't give viewers much insight into the kids' perspective.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Filmmaker Genevieve Bailey explores what it means to be eleven, all around the world. I AM ELEVEN is an incredibly interesting film, with a great premise to start from. What exactly does it mean to be eleven? Of course, we know somewhat what it is like for those around us, or perhaps what it was […]

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Posted September 2, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings?
 
 

Filmmaker Genevieve Bailey explores what it means to be eleven, all around the world.

I AM ELEVEN is an incredibly interesting film, with a great premise to start from. What exactly does it mean to be eleven? Of course, we know somewhat what it is like for those around us, or perhaps what it was like when we were growing up. But how does eleven differ – and stay the same – in countries all over the world? The maker of I AM ELEVEN answered that question by spending six years questioning children in fifteen different countries on everything from bullies and love to solar power. What results is a truly moving look at how children are children, no matter where they are on the map.

As the filmmaker explains at the beginning of the film, she picked the age of eleven because it was her favorite age. It is a fascinating age in many ways – no longer a small child, bound by watchful eyes at every moment, but also not yet an adolescent ready to take on the world. The children featured in the film cover a nice variety of upbringings and economic levels, ranging from girls living in an orphanage in India, to a young boy growing up in France, to your typical American kids. There are children of single parents, children with no parents, and children with both parents living at home, so you get a nice mix of perspectives.

When it comes down to it, though, they are all eleven regardless of where and how they are growing up, and that really shines through in the film. Rather than filming day to day life as a contrast, instead the filmmaker asks the same questions of all of the children, going back and forth between the kids as topics are changed. At first, it takes a little while to keep all of the kids and where they from straight because of this format (the children are introduced via text on the screen in their first appearance), though it does serve well to highlight the contrasts and similarities between the kids (and as you get to know them it does get easier to keep them all straight).

The kids themselves are really quite fascinating, and they have a lot to say about the world and some pretty deep topics. My main complaint with the film is that the question and answer format doesn’t always leave much room for actually getting to know the kids. There is some time spent on their day to day lives, but for the most part the focus is on how they answer the questions. It would have added a little more perspective to their answers if viewers were treated to more than a very small slice of their background.

I AM ELEVEN is a fascinating look into the thoughts of eleven year olds, all around the world. As the kids tackle deep questions about life, love, and the world around them, they show that kids are kids, no matter where they are from.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)