Run time: 102mins

Director: Mark Cousins

Synopsis: ‘A Story of Children and Film’ is the world’s first movie about kids in global cinema. It’s a passionate, poetic, portrait of the adventure of childhood: its surrealism, loneliness, fun, destructiveness and stroppiness: as seen through 53 great films from 25 countries.


Two children, Laura and Ben, play in a room in Edinburgh, Scotland.  At first they are shy, then they get stroppy, then show off, then tell stories, then wreck the toy that they’re playing with.

Each of these aspects of childhood inspires a journey through world cinema, in which we see how great films from 25 countries – classics as well as rarer movies – have depicted shyness, stroppiness, storytelling and violence in childhood, plus other themes too: adventure, surrealism, and doggedness.  Laura and Ben stay in a room, but A Story of Children and Film travels the world.  The kids’ play is a microcosm, and so the film begins and ends with one of the most famous microcosms in the history of art – Vincent Van Gogh’s painting of the view from his hospital bed in Saint Paul de Mausole, Saint Remy de Provence

Acclaimed critic and filmmaker Mark Cousins’ film is enchanting and deeply personal and includes his own camcorder footage of his nephew and niece and a solo trip to the Isle of Skye as inspiration for exploring aspects of childhood on film, which he does in an enthusiastic and affectionate way. No dry essay, he gives us glimpses of the riches of cinematic images of children from Hollywood and British classics, masters of European cinema, India, Japan and some lesser seen directors from Albania and Iran.

Shyness, wariness, class difference, performance and unconscious performance, destruction, dreaming and the loss of parents are all covered in Cousins’ film and he concludes that no other art form has examined children in such detail because none has cinema’s unique skill in capturing the moment.




Images courtesy of Dogwoof


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