Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


A Story of Children and Film

Mark Cousins, hailing from Northern Ireland, is known to cinephiles especially for his cinema history documentary series The Story of Film and the book of the same name. In the cinematic essay A Story of Children and Film, his trademark narrative voice again walks us through what we see and what we should see in the excerpts he has chosen from various films.

In this film about children in cinema, Cousins concentrates on narrative films. He focuses on how films are able to express the ways children experience the world. Recurring themes include dreams and aspirations, loneliness, adventures, violence, and fantasy.

Cousins’ strength has often lain in the temporal and geographical breadth of his choices, and so it is here, too. According to the production company, there are excerpts from 53 films from 25 countries. Classics such as E.T. and Fanny and Alexander are included, but also some movies virtually unknown to the wider audience have made the cut. As is typical with Cousins’ work, you can likely find something new to watch here.

In Cousins’ world, looking at small things in detail and with an open mind can often result in finding great things. This piece of wisdom seems to be his guiding principle in A Story of Children and Film.

Katariina Rönnqvist (translated by Virpi Sumu)

Language: English
Subtitles: No subtitles
Length: 106 min
Age Limit: S
Year: 2013
Production Country: United States

Director: Mark Cousins
Producer: Mary Bell, Adam Dawtrey
Production Company: British Film Institute (BFI), Film Four, BofA Productions
Screenplay: Mark Cousins